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While women constitute almost 50% of the overall workforce in the United States, only about 28% of all female workers are employed in science and engineering. These statistical data prove that the gender gap is still considerable, and science, technology, engineering, and math remain to be male-dominated occupations. This, however, does not suggest that men are better in math and engineering than women. In contrast, recent estimates show that math- and science-related achievements of female students are on par with those of their male peers. Men still dominate in these areas because they had many more opportunities to pursue education and careers in STEM-related occupations in the past. But today, women have the same opportunities, and they should definitely take them because engineering, science, and technology are crucial to the development of modern society. Furthermore, some of the most well-paid jobs are STEM-related.
Nowadays, many US colleges and universities provide scholarships to female students interested in studying STEM subjects. Numerous funds and organizations also introduce financial support aimed at promoting gender parity in STEM. This means that women who come from underserved communities or those who could hardly cover the high cost of STEM education in the past can deal with all the expenses now by obtaining significant financial support. Unlike student loans, scholarships enable students to gain education without falling into debts.
Amount: varies, up to $10,000
Deadline: June 30, 2020
Outstanding biology female students can receive research grants from the university.
Deadline: April 30, 2020
Female college-bound high school seniors interested in pursuing STEM education can apply for this scholarship.
Amount: varies, $575 per semester
Deadline: November 1, 2019
Applicants receive an opportunity to participate in research, learn the language of research, and use the newest high-tech equipment.
Amount: up to $2,000 and a one-year student membership with Association for Women Geoscientists
Deadline: March 31, 2020
This scholarship provides degree-completion funding for women geoscience graduate students whose education has been interrupted by life circumstances.
Amount: varies, up to $42,000
Deadline: December 2020
Women PhD students can apply here.
Amount: $8,000 four-year renewable scholarship ($2000 per year)
Deadline: March 2, 2020
It is available to graduating female seniors from the Tri-County South Florida area of Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach county. It benefits women pursuing degrees in Information Technology or Engineering.
Amount: $5,000-$15,000 per year for in-state students; $10,000-$22,000 per year for out-of-state students
Deadline: January 15, 2020
Offered by UMBC, this annual scholarship aims at addressing the gender gap issue in technology and engineering.
Deadline: April 15, 2020
Women pursuing an undergraduate or master’s degree in STEM can apply here. To win an award, participants need to present an outstanding 500-800-word essay.
Deadline: March 13, 2020
It aims at encouraging talented individuals to pursue degrees and careers in STEM fields. This competitive scholarship program is funded by NASA.
Amount: $5,500 per year for full-time enrollment; $2,750 per year for part-time enrollment
Deadline: November 15, 2019
Massachusetts State University students pursuing STEM degree can apply for this funding.
Deadline: February 17, 2020
This scholarship is available to women pursuing ABET-accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology, or computer science.
Deadline: February 2020
Women students pursuing bachelor’s degree in engineering can apply here.
Deadline: March 15, 2020
Society of physics students awards female students in their sophomore or junior years of study.
Deadline: April 2020
Zonta International Foundation awards annual rewards to up to 30 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-applied sciences or aerospace-applied engineering.
Amount: varies, $2,500
Deadline: February 15, 2020
Female students studying certain STEM subjects, including Chemical Engineering and Engineering/Technology among others can apply.
Deadline: July 1, 2020
It aims at encouraging more women enter statistically oriented professions.
Deadline: March 15, 2020
Society of physics students provides financial award to female undergraduate students majoring in a STEM, particularly in math/statistics.
Deadline: April 30, 2020
It supports women pursuing Bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Amount: varies, from $2,500 to $5,000
Deadline: February 1, May 15, October 1
These grants aim at helping junior women to develop long-term mentoring and working relationships with senior mathematicians.
Amount: varies, from $5,000 to $18,000
Deadline: January 10, 2020
American Association of University Women helps women receive master’s degrees in traditionally male dominated fields, including mathematics/statistics.
7 Tips to Help Your Scholarship Application Standout
Many students truly deserve financial rewards and support, but not everyone gets them due to competition. So how can you differentiate yourself, securing the best opportunities? Of course, students can increase their chances by applying to as many programs as they can. You should mind though that every application requires special attention and efforts. Here are some steps you can take to make sure every application of yours stands out.
- Follow an application strategy – Plan the whole process thoroughly and start by making a list of relevant scholarships. Present them in a chronological order, so you will not miss any deadlines. Mind listing the requirements for each of the chosen scholarships. By creating a detailed schedule, you will eventually save your time and organize efforts.
- Find what better works for you – There are many scholarships you may find relevant, but make sure to choose those you’ll fit most as a candidate. Really beneficial scholarships have very detailed selection criteria, and the more limiting these are, the better for you. For instance, as a math student, you are more likely to win a mathematics/statistics scholarship than some generic one because of the likelihood of lower competition.
- Present yourself – Don’t miss the opportunity to introduce yourself and explain why you are the person who deserves the award. Your self-representation should address some specific purposes or requirements of a given scholarship.
- Demonstrate your writing talents – Students often need to include essays into their applications. These should be well-written and properly proofread. Don’t leave essay writing for the last minute. Write the essay beforehand and proofread it several times, making 1-day breaks between proofreading sessions.
- Ask for opinions – Consider reading your essays to friends or relatives or ask your teacher/professor review them. Other people can provide some valuable suggestions you can use to improve your writing.
- Think about an appealing presentation – While working on an application, mind required formatting, length, and structure if these are provided. For instance, if there is a requirement to write a 1000-word long essay, don’t deliver a 5-page paper. Instead, make sure your application perfectly addresses all the specified details.
- Add letters of recommendation – Make sure added letters of recommendation are relevant to a given scholarship. You should choose reviewers wisely because they should have enough experience to evaluate your skills and capabilities as experts in the field.
Degrees and Careers in STEM
Some women don’t choose STEM because of lack of knowledge about possible degrees and careers they may gain. Here are just a few of the many possible examples of STEM degrees.
STEM degrees actually bring many career opportunities in diverse fields. They provide students with skills and capacities that will benefit them in chosen realms.
STEM Job Information, Career Highlights and Professional Organizations
Here are some of the professional organizations that actively support women in STEM occupations, providing relevant career highlights. Consider reviewing these resources for more STEM job information.
Society of Women Engineers – Outreach programs and scholarships introduced by this organizations support women in male-dominated occupations, making their voices recognizable.
American Society of Civil Engineers – This organization unites more than 150,000 professionals from all over the world, hosting conferences and providing career advancement opportunities.
IEEE – One of the world’s largest technical professional organizations, it unites professionals from diverse communities around a common goal of promoting innovation and excellence for the benefit of society.
Best College Reviews – Here, you can find a review of 30 best STEM jobs women can consider.
U.S. News – This is another relevant review of the most well-paid STEM jobs that welcome women-professionals.
Minnesota State Careerwise – Here, students can familiarize themselves with median wages and typical educational requirements with respect to some of the most relevant STEM careers.
Association for Women in Science – Uniting more than 100,000 professionals, it advances gender equity by supporting women and empowering female leaders.
Useful Resources for Women in STEM
Here are some additional useful resources that can benefit women in STEM.
Women in Engineering Proactive Network - Non-profit educational organization; it connects people, research, and practice.
American Association of University Women - It integrates women into STEM through programs for girls.
Scientista - It supports campus-level student organizations created by women students.
Million Women Mentors - It supports women in STEM through mentorship.
Girls Who Code - Here, women learning computer science can find support and relevant information.
Latinas in STEM - It encourages women from underserved communities pursue STEM careers.
Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World - This organization unites women scientists from developing countries.
National Girls Collaborative Project - Funded by the National Science Foundation, it broadens the participation of girls and women in STEM fields.
Steminist - This is a blog created by women for women in STEM.
Tech Ladies - This community helps women find the best jobs and opportunities in tech.
Why YOU Should Pursue a STEM Career
In order to bridge the gender equality gap, women should stop avoiding STEM jobs. Although these seem to be more complex and challenging than professions chosen by humanities graduates, they can bring significant rewards, both financial and ethical. Unfortunately, nowadays women still lack representation in STEM fields. Given that science and engineering are major sources of innovations that alter modern society, lack of representation of such a large proportion of the population can bring negative consequences, lowering the quality of life of women all over the world. Rather than waiting for others to take care of their needs, women should assume leadership roles and create a decent competition for men scientists. Modern innovations and development should express both male and female voices, benefiting society as well as every individual disregarding gender.