Women in STEM Face Many Challenges — Here’s How You Can Overcome Them
If you’re a woman working in STEM in Wayne, PA (or anywhere else in the country), you may encounter obstacles your male counterparts don’t face. As a result, it may make remaining in your field less enticing, causing you to abandon a career that initially ignited your passion.
Before you leave STEM, it’s critical to understand that many of the challenges can be overcome. Today, Key Rose takes a look at how to fight back, ensuring your STEM career is exactly what you envisioned.
Launch a Company If You’re Struggling to Advance
If you want to take control of your career, starting a STEM-oriented business in your field could be the answer. You’ll get to decide the direction of the business, ensuring you can use skills and strategies that align best with your expertise.
When you form your company, consider going with a corporation. That way, when you need capital, you can transfer shares, which is far easier than LLC membership interests. Plus, investors appreciate the predictable structure, potentially increasing their desire to get involved. Just make sure you review local regulations, as the rules vary by state.
If you’re worried about marketing, start with a business card. It’s a tangible way to make a lasting impression and is often more visible than email. Designing a business card is a breeze if you use the free templates provided with this free business card maker, too. You’ll just choose images and enter text, adjusting the colors and fonts until it aligns with your brand.
Research Salaries to Combat Pay Discrepancies
On average, women make 84 percent of what men earn. The reason for the difference can vary. In some cases, it’s because of a lower starting salary. Overall, 60 percent of women state that they’ve never negotiated their pay. If their first role came with a lowball offer and any subsequent raises or offers for new jobs were based on that figure, they remain behind the curve during their enter career.
Couple that with the fact that women undervalue or talk down their accomplishments when working as part of a group with men and are less likely to self-promote, and pay gaps can remain in place long-term. They may be looked over for raises and promotions, all because they aren’t as aggressive about touting their capabilities and contributions.
Fortunately, women in STEM can make up ground. One of the simplest ways to begin is with research. By heading to sites that track salaries – like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor, and Payscale – it’s easier to determine if they’re underpaid. Additionally, those resources can provide evidence that they can use the next time they receive a job offer or are up for a raise or promotion.
Focus on Company Cultures to Find Support Environments
Diversity and inclusion are hailed for helping companies thrive. As a result, many businesses claim they make those points priorities. However, when it comes to practice, they fall short.
If you’re looking for a new role, don’t trust claims that diversity and inclusion matter to the company. Instead, look for evidence that their culture is genuinely supportive.
In some cases, you can find out by looking into workplace policies. For instance, flexible scheduling, remote work programs, generous maternity and paternity leave, and similar benefits are positive signs. If there are images from employee gatherings, seeing a wide variety of people is another good indicator. The same goes for workers speaking positively about their employer on social media.
If you have doubts, find a female employee in a similar role online and reach out. Request an informational interview and see if she’s willing to discuss her experience. If so, you may find out all you need to know in a single phone call.
Key Rose guides all types of clients to make the changes they need in order to be the best version of themselves by creating a personalized plan in order to sustain healthy lifestyle changes through appropriate nutrition and psychological well-being via traditional counseling and virtual reality. To learn more, call (702) 608-5160.
By Virginia Cooper