The United Nations is committed to closing the gap between inequalities evident in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) employment (SDG 9). According to their latest study, globally, women make up just 20% of science and engineering professionals.
Gender Disparities and Disadvantages for Women in STEM
Gender disparities continue to exist in STEM careers, especially for women who face multiple disadvantages due to their gender intersecting with other vulnerabilities. In the United States, Black and Hispanic women working in STEM jobs earn approximately $20,000 less than the average for STEM jobs, and nearly $33,000 less than their white male counterparts.
The effect of COVID-19 on gender inequality
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the pre-existing vulnerabilities faced by women and girls, threatening to widen gender and socio-economic inequalities even further. Subgroups of women, including older women and women with disabilities, are particularly affected. Despite assumptions that older adults' greater health vulnerabilities would reduce their provision of childcare, UN Women's rapid gender assessment (RGA) surveys reveal that more than half of older women reported increased domestic work and childcare. Women with disabilities who have children in the household were also less likely to receive cash or in-kind relief from the government compared to their counterparts without disabilities.
The data for gender-specific indicators
Having disaggregated gender data for specific groups of women would allow policymakers to develop targeted policies and programs that address their unique circumstances. Unfortunately, such data is often unavailable. As of June 2022, only 42% of the necessary data for gender-specific SDG indicators is available. Additionally, there are 14 gender-specific indicators where no data has been reported for any country, including significant issues for women such as sexual violence, poverty, and employment.
It is crucial to recognize and address the barriers that women face in STEM careers and beyond, particularly those who face multiple disadvantages due to the intersection of gender with other vulnerabilities. Furthermore, policymakers must prioritize collecting and using disaggregated gender data to develop more effective policies and programs that respond to the diverse needs of women and girls.
The Sustainable Development Goals and deadline of 2030
The latest data available on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 indicate that the world is not making progress towards achieving gender equality by 2030.
COVID-19 and the opposition to women's sexual and reproductive health and rights are further worsening the outlook for gender equality. Violence against women remains high; global crises such as health, climate, and humanitarian emergencies have increased the risks of violence, particularly for the most vulnerable women and girls; and women feel more unsafe than before the pandemic. Women's representation in positions of power and decision-making is still below parity. Only 47% of the data required to monitor progress on SDG 5 is currently available, making women and girls effectively invisible.
With the 2030 deadline for the SDGs nearly halfway, the time to act and invest in women and girls is now. "Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2022" presents the latest evidence on gender equality across all 17 goals, highlighting the long road ahead to achieve gender equality. It emphasizes the interlinkages between the goals, the crucial role that gender equality plays in driving progress across the SDGs, and the central role of women and girls in leading the way forward.
HAPBWA'S Commitment as a Foundation for Hispanic American Professional & Business Women
HAPBWA is committed to the professional growth of women worldwide but more particularly in Orlando and Central Florida. As a Foundation dedicated to Hispanic American & Professional Business Women, we think STEM is key in the evolution of mankind and the role that women play in it will shape the world. Being also in a city and state where STEM is so important with NASA, SpaceX, Orlando Health, Advent Health, and other organizations, promoting women in STEM is key. If you are a woman in STEM or a company in STEM, we'd love to collaborate with you. Please contact us on our website to become a speaker, volunteer, donor or trustee.
Foundation for the development and growth of Hispanic American Professional & Business Women.