Female meteorologists unite to encourage STEM

Courtesy of Hannah Strong

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A group of women scientists both nationally and right here in northeast Kansas took part in helping spread the word of the importance of getting into the field.

Tuesday, March 14 is known to many as “Pi Day” after the iconic 3.14 symbol used in math.

Female broadcast meteorologists across the country came together to wear the famous “meteorologist dress” to encourage young ladies to study and enter the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Each woman put their picture of them wearing the dress on social media with the hashtag “Dress for STEM.” Even our own KSNT Storm Track Meteorologist ladies Vanessa Alonso and Christina Reis joined in on the fun.

Research shows that females are less likely to pursue careers in STEM fields. Here are some STEM facts from the U.S. Department of Commerce:

  • Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25-percent
    of STEM jobs. This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college educated
    women have increased their share of the overall workforce.
  • Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs –
    considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is
    smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.
  • Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in
  • Women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM
    occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare.
  • There are many possible factors contributing to the discrepancy of women and men in STEM
    jobs, including: a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendly
    flexibility in the STEM fields. Regardless of the causes, the findings of this report provide evidence
    of a need to encourage and support women in STEM.

This is the second year in a row the women have done this social media event to help spark the conversation on the subject and bring change to that.

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