The racial and ethnic gaps in STEM are still significant

Despite efforts to encourage inclusion in the STEM sector, a new report suggests a striking amount of progress is still needed.

Analysis recently released shows that in the US, Black and Hispanic workers remain underrepresented in STEM jobs. Black professionals account for just 9% of STEM workers and Hispanic professionals a meagre 8%, despite making up 11% and 17% of the US workforce. On the other hand, Asian and white professionals continue to be overrepresented.

Some particular jobs within STEM are even more overrepresented by white workers, with 71% of engineering jobs being taken by them. Life science and Maths are other sectors in which ethnic minorities are underrepresented.

On the other hand, more progress has been made in health related jobs in which Hispanic and Black professionals account for 9% and 11% of workers. However, these jobs are often low paid and bore the brunt of the risk of contracting Covid-19.

The lack of diversity in the STEM workforce mirrors that of education, with both Black and Hispanic youths less likely to earn degrees in STEM than other fields. Organisations such as BBSTEM in the UK are working to change this, by encouraging and supporting Black individuals to study and work in STEM.

To read the report in full, click here.

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