Career-Life initiative benefits women in STEM
Fewer women than men hold careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
According to a White House press release, women hold only 41 percent of Ph.D.'s in STEM fields and comprise only 28 percent of tenure-track faculty. While the gender gap is not new, the White House Council and National Science Foundation believe it's time for a change.
The White House Council on Women and Girls presented the "Career-Life Balance Initiative" on Sept. 26. The 10-year initiative strives to support America's scientists and their families, while also encouraging women to enter STEM-related fields. It is a step in the right direction for women in STEM professions, but the U.S. still has a long way to go.
According to Bloomberg, the U.S. is now the only remaining developed nation that does not offer paid maternity leave, with some exceptions by company or state.
While the U.S. has yet to offer that option to mothers, the Career-Life Balance Initiative aims to help parents in STEM fields maintain promising careers, rather than drop them to take care of their children. One promising aspect of the initiative is grant postponement and suspension after parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. This allows grant recipients to extend or defer grant money until they return from maternity leave.
The initiative also works to encourage young girls' interests in these subjects, the "smart thing to do for the economy," said Tina Tchen, the White House council's director, in a press release.
Programs such as "Educate to Innovate" and the National Girl's Collaborative Project's "FabFems Project," aim to open more resources to girls.
According to Live Science, boys are twice as likely as girls to be interested in a STEM career by eighth grade. Much of this is due to the way girls are educated. Teachers often encourage boys to figure out problems on their own, while experiments are instead demonstrated for girls, leaving many girls discouraged from STEM fields, according to Live Science.
It's time for the government to stop leaving women with no choice but to "opt out" of science-related careers, choosing to leave work to raise their families. What many fail to realize is that there are few resources, such as childcare or paid maternity or paternity leave, that can help women stay on track with their demanding careers after having children.
While paid maternity and paternity leave are still not national initiatives, allowing and encouraging researchers to continue working after leave is important.
It is high time that female scientists receive such recognition from the government for their work and progress. Next, the White House should make it possible for them to balance work and family by joining the rest of the developed world with paid maternity leave.
Jessica Schoenfeld is a sophomore majoring in women's studies and sociology.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- AAC Player of the Year removed from USF softball
- Ethics committee opens investigation of SG president
- Student bands get chance for the big stage
- First all-ticket presidential debate brings calls for change
- The threat of empty promises
- Bulls enter critical final stretch
- Tampa design firm urges city to play
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Protecting Seniors Online from Scams, Hacks and Tax Fraud
- Rehydrating for Optimal Health
- Five Reasons You Need Cell Phone Insurance Now
- The One Super Bowl Fact You Still May Not Know
- Companies Are Discovering That Pittsburgh Is Good for...
- Millennials Go House Hunting, and Here's What They Crave
- Estate Plans: You're Not Doing Anyone a Favor by Avoiding...
- What Would You Have to Give Up to Pay for An Unexpected...
- Four Tips to Keep Your Kids' Teeth Healthy And Clean
- Local Community Newspapers Go Digital
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- N. American Effie Awards Announces 2017 Collegiate Effie Competition
- Students Increasingly Turn To GoFundMe To Pay For College
- O2 BARS: LATEST RAGE AT COLLEGE DE-STRESS, SOCIAL, & WELLNESS EVENTS
- Deadline Approaching for Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants
- ESA Foundation launches 2017-18 Scholarship Program