STEM Worker Shortage can be Tied Back to Lack of Family-Friendly Workplace Policies
On June 23, 2014, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) joined the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Center for American Progress, and the Department of Labor (DOL) for the Working Families Summit in Washington, DC. The goal of the Summit was to foster a conversation regarding policies that will benefits the working families of today. In order for America to remain competitive in today’s global economy, we need to transition workplace environments into the 21st century through work-life balance and good employer practices. AWIS couldn't agree more with this goal and frankly it’s time for elected officials and employers to recognize the needs of the families of today.
It’s no secret that the United States is facing a worker shortage in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). There are more opportunities in the STEM fields than ever, but where are the workers? AWIS recently conducted the largest international survey of working researchers to study their approaches to work-life balance, career decisions, and career conflicts. AWIS surveyed more than 4,000 researchers in both academic and corporate settings from 115 countries around the world. We found that due to rigorous schedules and outdated work policies, which often conflict with personal time and family life, both men and women are leaving the STEM fields...It's always interesting to me how thoroughly entrenched the STEM shortage myth is in elite circles.
[FWIW, I don't really have a problem with organizations advocating for better family-friendly policies - it's just a goofy newshook, that's all.]