Women make up too small a percentage of STEM professionals

Science, technology, engineering and math. These four fields make up what is commonly known as STEM. Growing up in Bangladesh, it was my ambition to pursue a career within this umbrella. While I ultimately followed a math and science education track, my parents had encouraged me to follow an English and literature path instead, for one simple reason—I was female.

Many young women, myself included, have felt societal pressure to choose our fields based on what is stereotypically considered acceptable female professions. Although women make up more than half of the U.S. workforce, they continue to be underrepresented in STEM professions. For instance, women represent only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce and only 24 percent of information technology (IT) positions.

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