Women and Men in STEM Often at Odds Over Workplace Equity

Read the full story from the Pew Research Center for Social and Demographic Trends.

For women working in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) jobs, the workplace is a different, sometimes more hostile environment than the one their male coworkers experience. Discrimination and sexual harassment are seen as more frequent, and gender is perceived as more of an impediment than an advantage to career success. Three groups of women in STEM jobs stand out as more likely to see workplace inequities: women employed in STEM settings where men outnumber women, women working in computer jobs (only some of whom work in the technology industry), and women in STEM who hold postgraduate degrees. Indeed, a majority of each of these groups of STEM women have experienced gender discrimination at work, according to a nationally representative Pew Research Center survey with an oversample of people working in STEM jobs.

These findings come amid heightened public debate about underrepresentation and treatment of women – as well as racial and ethnic minorities – in the fast-growing technology industry and decades of concern about how best to promote diversity and inclusion in the STEM workforce. Conducted in the summer of 2017, prior to the recent outcry about sexual harassment by men in positions of public prominence, the Center’s new survey findings also speak to the broader issues facing women in the workplace across occupations and industries.1

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