Bioscience

Urban Institute issues report on women’s progress in the fields of science, math, engineering, and technology

August 17, 2006

By Flinn Foundation

The purpose of the Urban Institute’s article, Taking stock: Where we’ve been, where we are, where we’re going, is to trace the trajectory of women’s progress in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) over the past decade and suggest directions for the future of women’s participation in these fields. To do this, they track indicators of women’s progress toward attaining parity, review the research and theories that attempt to explain reasons for male-female differences in SMET participation, consider the role of intervention approaches (on the basis of the findings of research) in addressing these inequities, and discuss contextual influences such as societal change and education reform on efforts to achieve gender parity in SMET. They ask the question, “Given the advances made by women in SMET up to this point, what are logical next steps to preserve and expand the gains made by women in these fields so that true parity may be achieved?” Answering this question will require an identification of gaps that still remain to be closed, as well as fundamental premises that may need to be reexamined.