There is no doubt that the impacts of COVID-19 and its economic fallout has had an astounding impact on women. According to a new MetLife survey, 58% of women say that the pandemic has already had a negative impact on their career, and 56% fear it will impact their career in the future.
These impacts have prompted many women to consider making a career change, even in this challenging environment. According to MetLife’s survey, 1 in 4 women say they are considering a career change — and 4 in 10 women are looking to transition to the historically male-dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field.
Unfortunately, MetLife’s data also shows that only 27% of respondents — both men and women — believe that the STEM industry is supportive of women and their career development — demonstrating a clear area of improvement for STEM employers.
Here’s a few ways your employer clients can encourage women to pursue careers in STEM, as well as retain female talent in the sector:
1. Understand barriers to entry.
While it’s clear that women are interested in pursuing STEM jobs, they are also facing significant barriers to making it a reality. In fact, MetLife’s new survey found that 44% of women credited uncertainty as the biggest barrier to pursuing a career in STEM, and almost 25% cited a lack of skills or a lack of mentorship as the biggest barrier.