When it comes to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, numbers matter. If they're off by just a fraction, data won't add up. Neither will the measurements or the formulas. Simply put, success rides upon the numbers being right.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the numbers when it comes to women in STEM. Jobs in this field are expected to outpace non-STEM jobs over the next decade. However, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Commerce, women -- who make up nearly 47% of the total employed -- hold only 24% of STEM positions. You don't need to be a mathematician or engineer to see the wonky discrepancy in numbers. So what's the deal?
Equal Opportunities for All
Broadband is one of many areas in which women can thrive, writes RCN Business' Kristell Janusz.
Whatever the reasons have been in the past, it's time to begin looking towards the future. Here are four reasons why now is the time for broadband companies to hire more women for STEM jobs -- especially as broadband permeates more use cases, more industries and more possibilities.
1. A deeper talent pool
The math is pretty simple on this one. Would you rather hire from a group of 25 qualified candidates or 50? Many companies limit their potential because they’re working with only half of the talent pool available to them (that is, just men). According to a McKinsey & Company report, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to have above-average financial returns. So expand your search and increase the odds of finding the best people for the job.
2. Diverse teams bring diverse perspectives
Hiring more women in STEM jobs isn’t simply good for society; it's good for business. Conventional wisdom holds that having a team from a broad range of backgrounds, outlooks and experiences means you have a group that will come at challenges from different approaches and different perspectives. The key to most scientific and technological breakthroughs isn’t about being smart. It’s about the ability to see problems differently. Diversity allows for that. A lack of women on the job means you are potentially cutting your problem-solving capacity by half.
3. Your competition is already making the move
In 2017, GE pledged to hire 20,000 women in STEM roles by 2020, and they’re not alone. Companies such as Xerox, Lyft, GoDaddy, Pinterest, Spotify and dozens of others are looking to recruit diverse technology talent. If your company isn't quick to leverage this remarkable untapped resource, you can bet your competitors will beat you to the punch.
4. Benefits business today, inspires future generations
With each female hired, STEM-related businesses are busting myths, changing perceptions and blazing the trail for the next generation of women contemplating a career in STEM. And there’s no better way to encourage young women to pursue that dream than by adding to the success stories happening across the globe -- not just by women in STEM roles but by those companies that have profited by shattering existing societal stereotypes and closing the gender gap.
Need evidence of the rise of STEM jobs? Just walk into any office and see how technology is constantly developing and transforming the way we live. Many things women use are the result of STEM professionals; many of these advances are now watched, played or bought via broadband. Just imagine what female STEM professionals can do when there are more of us in the lab, designing products, apps and infrastructure.
— Kristell Janusz is the Vice President of Network Engineering for RCN Business, overseeing commercial construction, mapping, voice engineering and optical transport. To learn more, contact the company at www.rcn.com/business.