Girls and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

Nationally nearly 60% of both males and females graduate high school adequately prepared to pursue further study in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). However, in 2008-09, only 31.0% of the degrees and certificates in STEM fields were earned by women.

Working to increase the success of educational systems to support girls and women in STEM fields, Iowa was recently selected as one of two states to join the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity's STEM Equity Pipeline Project.

In 2005, females made up 17% of participating students in Project Lead the Way courses, Iowa's primary pre-engineering curriculum in high schools. In 2006, the number of sites where Project Lead the Way was offered expanded, but the percentage of participating females decreased to 15.1%. In 2011, women made up nearly 61% of Iowa's college and university enrollments, and have a higher educational attainment then men. Women comprise 51% of Iowa's population.

The 2013 American Community Survey, shows the following differences between the annual salaries of men and women working full-time in Iowa in the following occupations:




Computer and mathematical occupations
Architecture and engineering occupations
Life, physical, and social science occupations
Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations
Healthcare support occupations

Despite the difference in salaries between men and women in these occupations, women who work in science, technology, engineering and math fields earn on average 33% more than their counterparts in other fields.

In 2014, the Small Business Administration published a report on the gender gap between women and men in STEM fields for entrepreneurs.  This report shows that female entrepreneurs in STEM fields face additional barriers unique to females in STEM fields.

Iowa Resources on Girls and/or Women in STEM Fields

Governor's STEM Advisory Council

Female Responsive Green Energy Unit for middle school teachers

Women in Science and Engineering at University of Iowa

Program for Women in Science and Engineering at Iowa State University

Heart of Iowa Section, Society of Women Engineers

Women and Minorities in STEM Programs at Iowa's Public University and in the High School Program Project Lead the Way

STEM Organizations at Iowa's Community Colleges (Vision 2020)

National Resources on Girls and/or Women in STEM Fields

Girls Who Code

Girls Develop It

Girls Teaching Girls to Code

The National Girls Collaborative Project

Girl Scouts and STEM

Girls are IT

Women in Engineering Proactive Network

Women of Wind Energy

Masters in Data Science

Women in STEM Whitehouse Resource Library