Report Highlights Importance of Women in STEM Careers

Students make solar cars during Engineering Camp this summer, a free camp offered by the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering.

Engineering is a trending field, but it still isn’t bringing in the numbers of majors that it needs in order to replace the rapidly retiring current workforce.

Women majoring in any of the science, technology, engineering and math fields at community colleges are especially scarce, according to “Child Care and STEM Fields are Called Barriers to Women at 2-Year Colleges,” published in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The article highlights a report from the American Association of University Women that “blames women’s underrepresentation in STEM fields largely on gender stereotypes and a lack of information and support.”

The Tulsa Alliance for Engineering is working to lessen the barriers of entry for women, as well as men, who want to study engineering. The alliance offers free hands-on learning experiences that allow middle and high school students to explore the engineering field. The activities are geared toward communicating to young students, both male and female, that engineering is a viable, rewarding educational and career choice.

Formed in 2011, the alliance offers learning activities with help from its business partners in the area and the Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa. Members of the alliance are Tulsa Community College, TulsaTech, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, Oral Roberts University and University of Tulsa.