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Survey Reports FY2017:Why Women Aren’t Where They Are Needed in the Workforce: Putting the Pieces Together

Category Survey Reports
Year of Publication 2017.05
Author/Editor Patricia Rankin and Donna Caccamise

Women in STEM Workforce

Why Women Aren't Where They Are Needed in the Workforce: Putting the Pieces Together
Patricia Rankin and Donna Caccamise
Women in STEM Workforce_2017_en.pdf

This paper provides a broad review of evidence-based research, underlying theories, and interventions related to women's representation in the workforce. It introduces the complex issues at play in today's workplace. These issues contribute to creating a work culture that too often is unfriendly to women and subtly or not so subtly drives women from the workforce, particularly from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields. A diverse workforce can lead to better outcomes, especially in a knowledge-based economy. The assertion here is that achieving a workforce fully inclusive of women, including at the leadership levels is desirable, and that this will require looking beyond laws and policies to address the biases that women face as well as practical concerns such as how to combine family life with a career. Simple steps such as using a qualifications checklist in the assessment of candidates for a position can help improve hiring, as would the availability of added career planning advice targeted at women and a greater awareness of the value of providing role models. Leadership programs designed to support the new models of collaborative work and encourage the participation of women can also help.


Why Women Aren't Where They Are Needed in the Workforce: Putting the Pieces Together

  • • Abstract
  • • Overview
  • • Social, Economic and Scientific Problem-Solving ‒ the Value of a Diverse Workforce
  • • Cognitive Errors and Stereotype Threat
  • • Patterns of Women’s Representation
  • • Cultural Impacts on Employment of Women
  • • Models of Workplace Cultures in STEM
  • • Women in Leadership Roles
  • • Impact of Leadership Styles
  • • Biases Especially Impacting the Employment of Women
  • • Addressing the Causes of Under-Representation
  • • Keeping Women Interested
  • • Work/life Balance
  • • Work Teams Thrive with the Right Norms
  • • Better Ways to Recruit and Assess Individuals
  • • Developing Leadership Potential ‒ Existing Programs
  • • Developing Future Leaders with the Right Professional Skills
  • • Assessment of the Climate and Effectiveness of Interventions
  • • Recommendations
  • • Conclusions
  • • Acknowledgements
  • • Useful Materials/Further Reading
  • • References
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