STEM careers in India continue to experience gender gap


Mumbai, Aug 21 (IANS): As the world faces a skilled workforce gap, the careers in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) continue to face a gender gap in India, a survey said on Wednesday.

While nearly 84 per cent Indians believe STEM jobs are important to the country's future, fewer Gen Z respondents said they felt encouraged to pursue a STEM-based career than millennial respondents, said the survey by global technology and engineering company Emerson.

"Half of respondents said STEM careers in India continue to experience a gender gap, with women lagging behind," the findings showed.

With technology accelerating many industries, the skilled workforce gap is growing. Nearly 87 per cent Indian respondents said they believe companies should do more to train and prepare their STEM workforce.

"As automation and technology become truly ingrained in our workplaces and schools, there's a growing urgency to prepare the workforce with STEM skills that will be critical to the continued strength of the global economy," said David N Farr, Chairman and CEO, Emerson.

"We want to lead the charge in making strategic investments that will provide both the current and future workforce with the right skillsets to succeed in one of the many tremendous careers made available through STEM - from software development to new technologies in manufacturing," Farr added.

There is widespread support of boosting STEM awareness and education --according to 96 per cent Indians, they consider STEM education important to the country's future.

Despite this universal understanding of the importance of STEM, fewer than half of respondents believe their country is ahead in STEM education.

Creating an environment where everyone is encouraged to pursue STEM can help address this perception in India - and contribute to growing the global STEM workforce, said the survey.

Empowering more qualified workers of both genders to explore a STEM career could have a significant impact on the workforce gap.

Of the women who said they were not encouraged to pursue STEM careers in India, 41 per cent attributed this missed opportunity in the workforce to stereotypes that STEM careers are for men, and 44 per cent highlighted a lack of female role models in the field.

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