Although we can celebrate women’s access to educationthere are still areas with gender gaps very marked that, luckily, year after year they are shortened. Such is the case of STEM careers, an acronym to refer to science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers (in English: Sciencia, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM). Today is celebrated Women’s Day in Engineeringwe review what their reality is in Mexico.
According to official data, from 2012 to 2021, that is, in more or less a decade, the number of professional women who studied a STEM career, despite this, is still far from equality, because in concrete terms, in our country only 3 out of 10 STEM professionals are women.
The latest data shared by the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education (ANUIES) show that, of the more than 924,000 students enrolled in any of the engineering careers at universities in Mexico, both public and private, only 291,000 they are women. In terms of percentage, we would speak of 31%, a figure that coincides with the information in the previous paragraph: 3 out of 10 STEM professionals are women, that is, an approximate 30% on average.
In the case of the National School of Engineering (ENI), it was until 1930 that there was a female presence. From 1930 to 1950, only 15 women graduated, all of them in Civil Engineering, except one, in Topographical Engineering.
Why is there so little female presence in this type of race? According to studies, it is because interest in STEM is not promoted at specific ages of girls. Thus, when choosing a career, they are not usually among the first options of young students.
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Thus, there have been proposals that seek to increase the participation of women in this type of sector. The promotion of STEM careers should be focused on the first years of school, in primary school, for example, to arouse interest and foster the skills that allow them to opt for these careers at the time of their university and professional training.