Senators take on the STEM gender gap

Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) are launching a bipartisan Women in STEM caucus focused on creating more access and pathways for women and girls to participate in science, technology, engineering and math careers.

The caucus will offer a platform for lawmakers and industry leaders to discuss solutions to address the lack of diversity in STEM, the senators said.

“We have to change the narrative for young girls, and maybe even for educators, because we want to have them be sure young girls see themselves doing these jobs and these jobs feel accessible,” Rosen told The Hill.

It’s personal: Rosen came to the Senate with a background in computer programming, and although she said the gender gap has shrunk since she started in the industry in the 1980s, the progress has not gone far enough.

Long way to go: According to the U.S. Census, as of 2019 women made up half of the workforce but only accounted for 27 percent of workers in STEM fields.

The divide remains even more apparent in computer and engineering occupations, which made up 80 percent of the STEM workforce. Women represented only about a quarter of computer workers and 15 percent of those in engineering occupations, according to the Census report.