Women are underrepresented in most STEMM fields despite being half of the population and performing as well as, if not better than, men in math and science. Women with multiple marginalized identities (women of color, women with disabilities, sexual-and gender-diverse populations) are an even smaller minority. According to the 2020 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: “The gender gaps that have characterized most U.S. STEMM fields for the past 50 years merit attention because such gaps exact both explicit and opportunity costs for the nation’s scientific enterprise. Multiple components of STEMM fields demonstrably benefit from gender diversity.” (pg. 22)
The women represented in this exhibition are pioneers in science, engineering, and medicine who exemplify the spirit of those who have broken barriers in their professional lives and have made significant contributions to their fields and to American society.
This exhibition was organized by
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES’ REPORTS ON WOMEN IN STEMM FIELDS ARE FREE ONLINE AT WWW.NAP.EDU
Why is it important to encourage more women to pursue science and engineering careers?
To stay competitive globally, the nation needs the talent and creative ability of all of its people—both women and men. But women currently are a smaller part of the science and engineering workforce—in industry and in our nation’s colleges and universities.