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Which States Have The Smallest Gender Gap In STEM Occupations? by Hazel Garcia

It would seem as though hiring the candidate best qualified for a position, and paying them a fair and equitable wage, should represent an obvious and universal practice in the professional world. Unfortunately, that practice does not reflect the corporate standard in most companies, when the best-qualified candidate is also a woman. The gender wage gap irrationally persists as a prominent example of the continued influence of gender bias in the workplace.

The problem goes beyond the issue of inequitable pay, though that alone presents enough of an issue to greatly concern us. The gender bias in the professional workplace also reaches into problems like preferential promotions, and even a struggle for qualified women to break into their chosen fields.

Many fields have long remained stereotypically male-dominated environments. In the advanced technical fields of science and technology, every state in the country displays a huge gender imbalance, obviously favoring male employees. This creates obvious issues in both the corporate culture and our economy, as more and more women pursue fields in such advanced and rapidly growing STEM fields, only to face rejection in favor of often less-qualified male candidates.

Hiring the best candidate for the job represents a key investment in the growth of any corporate profit margin. With so many potential candidates possessing exceptional qualifications actively seeking and being passed over for positions in STEM fields, significant potential exists for any forward-thinking company to benefit from these brilliant candidates that their more conservative competitors may have overlooked due to gender.

Through careful planning and smart investing, as well as a fair and equitable hiring practice, any company can benefit from a steadily increasing bottom line. Despite the obvious benefits of opening hiring practices to all qualified candidates, many companies, and every state, continue to show a sadly underrepresented proportion of women in advanced technical careers.

For a breakdown of how companies in your state rank in the gender balance of their workforce, take a look at the infographic here. Unfortunate proof that our fight for quality still has a long way to go.




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Hazel Garcia with Investment Zen

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