Nationally, and in Colorado, the demand for a skilled STEM workforce is growing and STEM jobs offer higher salaries than non-STEM jobs. Women working in STEM jobs earn, on average, 33 percent more than those in other fields, yet women account for only 29 percent of the STEM workforce. In Colorado, women earn more than 50 percent of two-year and four-year degrees, but less than a third of Colorado graduates in STEM are women. Women's under-representation in STEM fields starts early, with gender gaps in STEM interests beginning in middle school and growing throughout high school, college, and career. Far too many girls and women are discouraged from pursuing success in STEM fields.
We've created this guide to introduce parents, caregivers, and educators to the many opportunities that STEM can provide for girls and women. You'll find resources to help girls explore and prepare for those opportunities and tools to inspire, motivate, and prepare young women to thrive in STEM careers. In addition to tools for creating exciting, hands-on learning experiences, the guide includes: an overview of the status of girls and women in STEM in Colorado, definitions of STEM-related terms, and a call to action. Each chapter includes strategies that are specific to a certain age group, as well as benchmarks to strive for in each stage of girls' lives to prepare them for future STEM opportunities. You might also see some repetition in concepts as they are relevant for girls of many ages. We've included a sampling of the many STEM resources available locally, statewide, and from across the nation.