Challenges remain regarding attracting and retaining women in career opportunities that circle around the sciences, technology, engineering and math, according to a recently released report.
The Center for Talent Innovation released a report in early February stating American women who work in the STEM fields, as those disciplines are known, are 45 percent more probable to leave the industry within 12 months as compared to men, The Washington Post reports. Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett founded the New York-based think tank.
The study also noted that upward mobility for women might not be within reach. Almost 33 percent of top officials – both male and female – in the STEM sector said that a woman would not climb to the top slot in their firms.
"Even the senior guys who are in a position to make change for the women in their company don't feel like they can do it," director of research Laura Sherbin with CTI told the news source.
Based in Manhattan, the think tank aims to enhance competitive success by using the full capacities of the worldwide talent pool, according to the organization's website. The think tank also strives to bridge gender, generational, geographical and culture gaps.
Update to 2008 version
The newly released report updates the organization's report published about six years ago. The 2008 report also noted women are increasingly leaving career opportunities in high-tech fields. In total, the report polled 5,685 college-educated adults who hold credentials and experience with the sciences, engineering and technology firms in the private sector. Of those respondents, 2.349 were female.
At least 25 percent of women from the U.S. said they believe they are being held up in their career pursuits in these industries. In India, that metric climbs to 45 percent. Slightly less than one in three of the females polled said they are poised to resign from their jobs within 12 months. Poll data from China reveals very similar figures for that metric.
Roughly 44 percent of U.S. women in the said they believe they are being assessed in comparison with standards about their male counterparts. They also reported challenges when it comes to navigating the difference between being aggressive and being assertive, which periodically harms careers.
That is a phenomenon that is common in many industries but its gravity is severe for women, the research director said.
"It's very extreme in these cultures," the research director told the news source. "When the prevailing leaders are all men, it's very difficult for women to look, act and sound like the leaders they succeed."