December 3rd, 2014 @ 1:24 am by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
I recently joined leaders from academia, industry and government to discuss the importance of empowering women in STEM at the “Empowering Women In STEM – EWIS Fall Networking” event organized by Amandeep Kaur, Chancellor’s Science Fellow. One of the topics we discussed was why we still don’t have enough women reaching the highest levels of academia and industry in STEM, despite their strong representation on college campuses and increasing presence among those gaining STEM degrees.
As someone who has earned a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in electrical engineering, this concerns me greatly. We must recognize the very real barriers that still exist for women in the workforce (and not just in STEM). As a mother whose millennial daughter has recently entered the workforce and as a Chancellor who every day sees incredibly bright students pursuing their dreams, this concerns me all the more.
For our economy to thrive, we need more young women, as well as young men, to have opportunities to study science, engineering and mathematics and pursue careers in these areas. A strong and diverse STEM workforce will drive innovation, economic growth, and generate novel solutions to pressing national and international problems.
Advancing STEM is a priority nationally, for California and at UC Davis. That is why I am pleased to announce that the Online College Database recently ranked UC Davis first for total women in STEM programs, with 2,503 women in 169 STEM programs.
But we need to do more. California is recognized globally as a hub for innovation. To maintain our position as a leading innovation-driven economy in the 21st century, we must continue to improve the climate for women and underrepresented minorities.
With some of the keynote speakers (L to R): Ruth Uy Asmundson, Former Mayor of City of Davis; Delaine Eastin, Former CA Assembly Member and Former Superintendent of Public Instruction, CA; Amandeep Kaur , EWIS Coordinator; Linda Katehi; Lois Wolk, Senator, District 3, CA