Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations have experienced much faster growth than other occupations in the last decade and play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, yet women remain underrepresented in these fields. Median annual earnings for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields are $64,000 (versus $78,000 for men), and only three in ten (28.8 percent) STEM workers are women.
Women’s underrepresentation in STEM fields may also be a factor in the gender patenting gap. Although women have more than quintupled their representation among patent holders since 1977, fewer than one in five of all patents had at least one woman inventor in 2010.
IWPR projects that at the current rate of progress, women inventors will not reach parity in patenting until 2092.
IWPR researchers aim to understand why women either do not enter or stay in STEM fields of study, quantifies the impact of women’s underrepresentation in STEM and patenting, and informs recommendations for fully tapping the brainpower of top innovators to meet persistent and emerging challenges, such as climate change, cyber security, the need to modernize public benefits access, and much more.