Women in STEM Fight for Representation
Women in STEM
Title IX brought more women into STEM fields, but women at SU still find many STEM classes dominated by men and struggle to find female mentors.
When sophomore Sarah Frankel walked into the iSchool on the first day of classes in Spring 2021, her “jaw dropped.” In a class of 30 students, Frankel was one of eight women.
“When I go into my classes and I don’t see someone who at least somewhat looks like me, I get really uncomfortable,” said Frankel, an Information Management, Public Health, and Accounting major. “When I walked into that class, I was like: ‘Do I belong in the iSchool? Do I belong in this class?’”
While STEM tracks like pre-med have seen an increase in gender diversity, majors involving computer science and data analytics still attract few women. Frankel and her female colleagues in those fields will enter professions still dominated by men. But they’re also part of a growing trend of women entering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. These current-day trailblazers will help push STEM professions closer to gender equity, continuing the trend since Title IX became law in 1972. In the five decades since, the percentage of women in STEM fields has gone from just 8% in 1970 to 27% in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.