STEM Careers: Future Happening Now
BY: EVE SAYERS ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2016
Numbers reveal that more and more female students at American Universities are studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM subjects).
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program implemented by the US government shows that the number of female international students studying STEM subjects increased more than 68 per cent in the five years from 2010 to 2015.
In 2010 there were just 76,638 active female internationals students studying STEM subjects, however, that total is now thought to be 128,807.
Businesses looking to recruit are now paying attention to the underrepresented female students in STEM. Studying for a STEM related degree exposes students to to innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset thus making them highly sought after individuals for global and local companies alike.
Having a STEM degree to your resume affords that applicant the cutting edge that can set them apart from fellow candidates.
Not only are international students an incredibly invaluable asset to their prospective employers but are also key to the economy of their chosen country of study. Data from TransferGo reveals that in the UK international students contribute a staggering £9.3billion, with more than half that figure being spent off campus, which means that a large amount of money is going to local businesses, such as shops and restaurants.
As well as a STEM degree and a great contribution to the local and nation economy, female international students bring a wealth of other benefits to the workplace. There are currently only five women that are FTSE 100 CEOs and for board positions at said companies, females represent just 23.5 per cent. Hence female international students bring diversity to domestic economies and businesses.
They can also bring a new way of thinking, Katie Lee, Managing Director of communications agency Gravity Road, noted that each female director she knows arrives to meeting prepared with a notebook in order to make notes whereas men often recoil, thus females bring different initiatives to the workplace.
In addition to this, international students can also introduce a string of beneficial international connections that can allow businesses to team up with overseas companies.
However, for all the benefits female international students can bring to the workplaces in STEM subjects, they are still very heavily skewed towards men. Overall, the gender pay gap stands at 19.1 per cent. For the science, tech and engineering field, the pay gap tends to be around the $20,000 mark.
Pharmaceutical is the highest paying profession for females, with the average salary standing at $98,900, however, for men, it is more toward $115,000. Despite the gender pay gap receiving more and more attention and calls for something to be done, research shows that in some fields the gap is widening; and unfortunately, the STEM industry is one the fields that have suffered most.
From 2014, the gender pay gap has increased to 26.3 per cent for computer support specialists and 23.5% for medical scientists.
Image via Shutterstock