On Thursday, October 9, Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman (D/WF – Brooklyn) hosted a roundtable discussion to examine the gender inequity patterns in science and technology careers.
The roundtable participants included representatives of the New York Software Industry Association, the New York City Dept. of Education, the School of Education at Brooklyn College, Pace University, the Consortium for Workers Education, the National Council for Research on Women, the New York Hall of Science Educational Department, the Girl Scouts of USA and others.
The panel focused on the social barriers that impede the progress of women in the fields of science and technology. Assemblywoman Millman sponsored the event to "examine those factors which prevent women from entering and persisting in the ‘hard’ sciences."
The roundtable exposed alarming statistics showing that women are under-represented in science and technology careers. Millman stated, "We have learned about the encouraging and impressive gains especially at the high school and college level, but women still receive a relatively small proportion of computer and engineering degrees and are still under-represented in the technology workforce and still earn less than men in these fields."
Women earn less in every stage of their scientific careers and this disparity only increases as they advance in their chosen fields. Millman was deeply concerned with this troubling data, "When women are paid less than men while serving in the same capacity, it sends the wrong message to young women – that they are less valued and do not have equal status."
New York State needs a technologically sophisticated workforce that does not leave anyone behind.
Assemblywoman Millman concluded, "The bottom line is we need to create a culture in which girls have equal access and opportunity to education, jobs, and equitable pay. Undeniably, science and technology play a critical role in our country’s future, and women must play an important role in this future."