Stem Creativity to Promote Equity

In a world that is technologically progressing at extraordinary speeds, there are still primitive problems situated within our society. The demand for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) related jobs is at an all-time high. There is a need for 3.5 million job positions to be filled for STEM jobs by 2025 (Lazio, 2019). Even though this demand for this field of study is so high, the number of women joining this field is proportionally insufficient. Statistically, women only make up 28% of STEM careers according to the AAUW. The percent of jobs occupied by women is not the only alarming stat that is involved regarding this topic. Another concerning fact is that there is a major wage gap between women and men in these jobs. These jobs are demanding high wages due to their high demand to be filled and women are getting discriminated against in the amount they earn.

This problem also applies to minorities respectively. The black population is underrepresented in the STEM workforce. They make up 9% of the STEM workforce but represent 11% of the total workforce. This also applies to the Hispanic community that makes up 17% of the US workforce but is only represented as 8% of the STEM workforce. This is a huge problem since it shows that there is a major underrepresentation in these fields for these minorities. The wage gap applies to minorities as well but to a greater extent. The African American to Caucasian STEM professional pay gap was at an alarming 80% difference according to Science News Journal. That means that White STEM professionals are making 80% more than minorities.

This chart shows the underrepresentation that minorities endure within STEM fields.

These worrisome stats are a result of discrimination by society and personal interactions. Women are looked down upon in these fields by men and this, in turn, makes many women leave. They are not welcomed and looked upon as outcasts. There also are societal aspects that discourage women from being associated with STEM-related content. Women do not get exposed to science as much as men growing up. This lack of exposure decreases interest when they grow up. Minorities face the same discrimination as women. They are exposed to the idea that they will not be able to jobs STEM fields so they never try to achieve having a STEM job. This is due to the oppression that they endure in their community and based on their minority status. This societal oppression has discouraged many students of color from ever getting involved in a STEM career.

This chart shows the wage cap that exists among men and women in STEM jobs.

As a society, we need to change this oppression that limits women and minorities from ever reaching the STEM field. We need to ensure that women/minorities have just as much opportunity to join STEM majors in college. We need to educate women/minorities on the possibilities that the STEM field carries. We also need to change the stereotypical idea that women and minorities are not good enough or qualified to join the STEM field. These changes need to be done from a global perspective in order to help those groups of people who are underrepresented.

Personally, I will encourage minorities and women to join STEM by giving them the knowledge and courage they need to make the decision. I think the most important thing is letting these students know that they CAN get into the stem field. I want to build that professional relationship with my students so I can help give them build the courage they need to face the real world. Also, I want to give them knowledge about the STEM field, so they know what it is. I feel like a lot of minorities have a lack of experience and knowledge regarding STEM which prevents them from entering the field. I also am wanting to incorporate inquiry-based learning to help prepare my students on how to perform TRUE science. The most important thing I think that would benefit my class would be to bring in a minority that’s heavily involved in the STEM field. I think having these minority students relate to someone who actually went through that oppression and persevered would be very influential for the students. I feel like if I promote these steps in my class I will dramatically increase STEM awareness.



  1. Hey Rachel,
    Thanks for taking the time to look over my blog and write your opinion on it. I think that you bring up many important points. To answer your question, true science to me means for the students to think outside of the textbook and curriculum. I want to guide them to use their scientific minds in their everyday lives. I don’t just want my students to learn the curriculum but become scientific-minded. I think that true science is deeper than what can be taught through the curriculum and this is what I mean by true science. If you have any other questions, just let me know!

  2. Hey Grace,
    Thanks for your honest review of my blog. I will take what you have written into consideration. To answer your question I think that there definitely was a difference in the styles of encouragement that my science teachers promoted. They never really hit on STEM that much but promoted the exploration of science. I think that our teachers were not informed of the opportunities presented through STEM which is why they didn’t promote it. Thanks again!

  3. Hey Steven!
    I loved that you started off your blog with a statistic about the current need for jobs to be filled in STEM, it made me think about how important it is that students are encouraged to pursue STEM careers and for reform in the field to be made. I also liked that you addressed the oppressive system that impacts women and minority involvement in STEM. I thought your suggestions for moving forward and teaching with equity in mind were great! When you say you want to “help prepare my students on how to perform TRUE science,” what do you mean by that? I agree, but want to hear more of your thoughts on “true science”!

  4. Hey Steven!
    You brought up a lot of good points. I like how you mentioned the importance of engaging your students in inquiry based learning so that they can feel prepared stepping out in to the field of STEM, knowing they will have the academic tools they need to succeed (but obviously, the way others treat them is out of their control). In your science classes growing up, do you feel that your teachers did a good job of encouraging students, especially all students, to look into the STEM field? If so, how, and if not, what could they have done better?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.