Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Who is Discouraging Women From STEM Careers? Part 2 - Stay at Homes

In my previous post on this subject4, I showed that if you went by personality type, STEM jobs would be: 70% male and 30% female. That's if all other things were equal, but they aren't equal.

29% of women with children are stay at home moms1, but according to a Forbes survey:
...84% of working women told ForbesWoman and TheBump that staying home to raise children is a financial luxury they aspire to.2
Combine that with this info about female Harvard grads:
A 2001 survey of Harvard Business School graduates found that 31 percent of the women from the classes of 1981, 1985 and 1991 who answered the survey worked only part time or on contract, and another 31 percent did not work at all...3
That's right, a staggering 62% of Harvard female grads either end up working part time or not at all. Why such a higher percentage than the rest of the population? Because, they can afford it. Just as birds of a feather flock together, Ivy League educated women (with high earning potential) tend to marry Ivy League educated men (with high earning potential).

84% of working women would do likewise...if they could afford it.

STEM women are no different, they too would prefer to quit working...if they could afford it. And they can, because like Harvard female grads, STEM females tend to marry men with similar earning potential (which is to say, a high earning potential, as STEM is a high paying field). 

What percentage of STEM personality type females end up choosing to quit working? I don't have a hard number, but it is probably somewhere between the general population's 29% and Harvard's 62% number. Given they are more likely to have the financial means, I'd guess it's closer to the Harvard number.

For discussion's sake, let's split the difference and make it 45%, and to be conservative we'll drop that down to 40%. So, if 40% of STEM females eventually quit work, the makeup of STEM workers should be:
80% Male
20% Female
Who's discouraging women from STEM careers? The two biggest culprits so far seem to be women's personality types and women's life choices. In other words--women.

1 http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/04/08/after-decades-of-decline-a-rise-in-stay-at-home-mothers/

2 https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2012/09/12/is-opting-out-the-new-american-dream-for-working-women/#48ced360623a

3 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/20/us/many-women-at-elite-colleges-set-career-path-to-motherhood.html?_r=0

4 http://masculinebydesign.blogspot.com/2014/03/discouraging-women-from-entering-stem.html

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