Women in STEM | KALW

Women in STEM

CODE: Debugging The Gender Gap


Tech jobs are growing faster than colleges can award computer science degrees. A Microsoft report states that in less than ten years, there will be one million available computing jobs in the U.S. How many of those jobs will be filled by women? As of now, not many. 

Mike Adaskveg

Women are underrepresented in a lot of scientific fields, but there’s one branch of biological science that bucks the trend: veterinary science. Women now make up the majority of veterinarians in the US, and fill close to 80 percent of the seats in vet schools.  

The Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands is a good example of this trend. The center is a combination emergency hospital, rehabilitation center, and research institute for seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, dolphins, and more. Seventy percent of its paid staff and 73 percent of the volunteer community are women.

Jen Chien

Natasha Cronin is a first-year student in the Automotive Technology Department at Skyline College in San Bruno. She and her classmates are standing under the raised body of a dilapidated red pickup. Their task for today: to learn how this truck works by dismantling it, piece by rusty piece.

Cronin got into cars in high school, which wasn’t that long ago -- she’s 18. She says she hung out a lot with friends who were auto enthusiasts, out on the sidewalk or in the garage, watching them fix their cars. Eventually, she decided to try her own hand at it.

Womens Audio Mission

Picture a scientist in a white lab coat holding a test tube up to the light. Or a brilliant computer geek hunched over a keyboard. These are stereotypes we associate with STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But there are a lot of industries involving STEM skills that don’t fit those stereotypes.


While some high-profile women--like Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, or Marissa Meyer at Yahoo--have made it to the top of the tech world, few women are waiting to succeed them. In 2010, women earned JUST 18% of computer science degrees. And while women are the main users of online social networking and e-commerce, most leaders of these companies are men.