BYU-Idaho’s College of Physical Sciences and Engineering will host its first college-wide Women in STEM Forum on Mar. 15 in the Gordon B. Hinckley Building chapel.
Women in STEM face discrimination more frequently than other careers, according to a report released by Pew Research Center in January.
“For women working in STEM jobs, the workplace is a different, sometimes more hostile environment than the one their male coworkers experience,” according to the report. “Discrimination and sexual harassment are seen as more frequent, and gender is perceived as more of an impediment than an advantage to career success.”
Those who attend the forum will hear from a civil engineer, a statistician and an IT manager. They will share their stories — from choosing their majors to discovering their career paths.
Karen Hiatt, a civil engineer, graduated from the University of Idaho, will be one of the speakers. She works for the Idaho Transportation Department and is currently the engineering manager over the Planning and Engineering Resource group.
Jill Lundell, a statistician, started college as an art and math major, another speaker. She switched majors during her sophomore year after falling in love with statistics. She graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with an emphasis in statistics and a master’s degree in statistics. Following graduation, she worked as a lecturer and statistics consultant at USU for two years. She left USU and took a job as the only statistician for an engineering firm, where she still works.
Alisha Stratton, an IT manager, currently works at United Services Automobile Association, will also speak in the event. She manages the Digital Voice Development team, which enhances voice tools to create personalized experiences that leverage voice biometrics, machine learning and improved authentication tools.
Before you attend the forum, here are five facts from Pew Research about women in STEM:
1. Only about half of women with postgraduate degrees say they are treated fairly when it comes to opportunities for promotion, compared to 76 percent of women with less education.
2. Nineteen percent of men in STEM have experienced discrimination at work compared to 50 percent of women. Seven percent of men say their gender has made it harder to succeed at work compared to 20 percent of women. Twenty-eight percent of men say sexual harassment is an issue at their workplace compared to 36 percent of women.
3. Discrimination is reported more by women with advanced degrees and computer-related jobs. Only 4 in 10 of these women say they are treated equally by receiving the same promotions and advancement opportunities as their male counterparts.
4. Women in STEM with computer-based jobs are declining. Today, 25 percent of jobs related to computing are held by women, compared to 32 percent in 1990.
5. Over 75 percent of women in STEM fields at male-dominated workplaces have reported gender discrimination. This ranges from being turned down for a job position to making less money than a man doing the same job and same work.