Women: The Unmined Gems of STEM

4 reasons why more STEM jobs for women means more success for your business.

When it comes to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, numbers matter. If they’re off by just a fraction, the data won’t add up, or the measurements, or the formulas. Simply put, success rides upon the numbers being right.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the numbers when it comes to women in STEM. Jobs in this field are expected to outpace non-STEM jobs over the next decade. However, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Commerce, women—who make up nearly 47% of the total employed—hold only 24% of STEM positions. You don’t need to be a mathematician or engineer to see the wonky discrepancy in numbers. So what’s the deal?

Whatever the reasons have been in the past, it’s time to begin looking towards the future. Here are four reasons why now is the time for businesses to hire more women for STEM jobs.

1. A deeper talent pool to dip into.

A deeper talent pool to dip into

The math is pretty simple on this one. Would you rather hire from a group of 25 qualified candidates or 50? Many companies are limiting their potential because they’re working with half of the talent pool available to them (that is, just men). According to a McKinsey & Company report, gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to have above-average financial returns. So, expand your search and increase the odds of finding the best people for the job.

2. Diverse teams bring diverse perspectives.

Diverse teams bring diverse perspectives

Hiring more women in STEM jobs isn’t simply good for society; it’s good for business. The conventional wisdom is having a team that comes from a broad range of backgrounds, outlooks and experiences means you have a group that will come at challenges from different approaches and different perspectives. The key to most scientific and technological breakthroughs isn’t about being smart. It’s about the ability to see problems differently. Diversity allows for that. A lack of women on the job means you are potentially cutting your problem-solving capacity by half.

3. Your competition is already making the move.

Your competition is already making the move

In 2017, GE made a pledge to hire 20,000 women in STEM roles by the year 2020, and they’re not alone. Companies such as Xerox, Lyft, GoDaddy, Pinterest, Spotify and dozens of others are looking to recruit diverse technology talent. If your company isn’t quick to leverage this remarkable untapped resource, you can bet your competitors will beat you to the punch.

4. It benefits your business while inspiring future generations.

It benefits your business while inspiring future generations

With each female hire, STEM-related businesses are busting myths, changing perceptions and blazing the trail for the next generation of women contemplating a career in STEM. And there’s no better way to encourage young women to pursue that dream than by adding to the success stories happening across the globe, not just by women in STEM roles but by those companies that have profited by shattering existing societal stereotypes and closing the gender gap.

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