About

Women were awarded one out of five engineering degrees in Arizona in 2013 and one out of four computer science degrees. Arizona ranks 4th in the nation for STEM job growth.  Between 2014 and 2024,  STEM jobs in Arizona will grow 23% (27% Computing and 17% Engineering).  The demand for engineering and computer science graduates exceeds the supply.  [1]

Arizona employers, educators, and government could dramatically increase the available talent in computer science and engineering with women by simply closing gender gaps and issues across the entire talent pipeline:

  1. Use immersive learning to increase female interest to pursue a career in STEM.   Internships, apprenticeships and other hands-on learning and career programs provide a fun,flexible environment to immersively learn, practice, and explore STEM while picking up valuable skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.  
  2. Educators and female students both desire and need mentors.  Role models and mentors play a powerful role in inspiring encouraging and supporting students and young women in STEM at every stage of their STEM education and career.
  3. Increase retention and growth rates for women in STEM which is currently not improving at the rate needed to achieve parity with men or meet the projected industry growth need.  By completing high school and earning a technician’s certification or a college degree that matches their area(s) of interest where the interest is matched to skills needed to fill STEM jobs in industry, women can earn  92 cents for every dollar earned by men, compared to 77 cents for other fields[2].

Science Foundation Arizona has established a program with focus on girls and women in STEM described below.

Female Apprentice Working With Engineer On CNC Machinery

PROGRAM GOAL

Make Girls/Women in STEM in Arizona the new NORM and at par with Men by 2025.  

DELIVERABLES

This Portal

Immersive Mentoring / Role Models

Internships and other Opportunities

Personalized STEM Pathway and Career Navigation

A group of adults in a bussiness or education setting.  Female African American in foreground looking and smiling at the camera.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

  1. Fill the STEM talent pipeline with Girls/Women – attract, engage, retain, and transition successfully to Industry — monitoring and measuring success along the way.
  2. Address the gender gaps that impact girl’s and women’s interest and retention in STEM majors and careers with targeted, age appropriate messaging, support, and activities.
  3. Engage and partner with Industry to comprehend areas of need, set joint goals, and establish Mentoring Network(s) and Intern Programs,that will foster confidence, motivation, and support.
  4. Provide Teachers and Parents with a framework, tools, and processes to successfully integrate and implement girls in STEM.
Parents and Teachers Resized

STRATEGY

Our approach involves four phases that incrementally focus on closing gender specific gaps and issues that hinder girl’s and women’s interest, retention and success in STEM spanning K-12, higher education and successful transition into industry.   Gaps and issues to address will be based on prior research at the national and state/regional level.  We will closely monitor progress to the goal through design and instrumentation of metrics across multiple STEM areas.

  1. Change the Equation Vital Signs for Arizona Women 2013 http://vitalsigns.changetheequation.org/state/arizona/diversity#not-gaining-ground
  2. Women in STEM:  Realizing the potential, STEMconnector, March 2014 https://www.millionwomenmentors.org/download/file/fid/866