Amazon commits $53M to women-led, climate tech firms, incubators

Amazon is allocating $50 million from its Climate Pledge Fund — Amazon’s venture capital program that invests in companies pioneering decarbonizing technologies and solutions — to invest in women-founded and women-led climate tech companies, as well as incubators and accelerators that prioritize women-led entities.

Efforts abound to increase female participation in STEM

As opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) develop around the country, different inclusion programs are being put in place to increase participation for women in the field. SSTI previously released an article highlighting the lack of female participation in certain STEM careers, like computer science and engineering, despite tech industries growing in different cities around the country. This week’s story focuses on different efforts that are in place to help turn that tide and increase women’s participation in STEM fields and the results the efforts are having.

Tech industry is booming, but women’s participation continues to lag

In another illustration of how women’s participation in the tech industry continues to lag, SmartAsset recently released its annual report looking at Best Cities for Women in Tech. The report finds country-wide, the percentage of women in STEM is growing, but that growth is occurring at a dwindling rate, and that women make up only about 20% of the field’s total workforce. Detroit, Michigan, has the highest percentage of women tech workers (41.7%), according to SmartAsset. Irvine, California, was cited as having the lowest percentage (18.9%) of women tech workers. The report shared statistics for women’s participation in STEM in other cities as it relates to the industry growth with that area and their income.

Manufacturing Week celebrates industry while employment grows

As Manufacturing Week kicks off on Friday, Oct. 7, the U.S. Census Bureau and Manufacturing USA are providing valuable manufacturing statistics and data to help inform policymakers and businesses, while also highlighting careers in the industry.

Women and COVID-induced unemployment

A recent paper published at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (FRBA) highlighted that unlike prior recessions where men experienced unemployment at higher rates, COVID-19 had a much greater effect on women. Women constituted nearly 60 percent of net job loss despite making up 47 percent of pre-pandemic employment. Even among women, job loss was not uniform, with women who are also people of color experiencing even greater negative impacts.

Recent studies highlight challenges, successes of female founders and women in academia

As the country celebrates Women’s History Month two recent reports, one from the National Academy of Inventors and another from PitchBook, feature women’s achievements and offer recommendations to encourage more participation from women.

Report finds lack of women in leadership positions in higher education

Women in academia are underrepresented in leadership positions at the 130 universities ranked as R1 (the highest level of research activity by the Carnegie Classification), a recent report done by the Eos Foundation’s Women’s Power Gap (WPG) Initiative found. The report found that women make up 55 percent of all PhD earners, but just 22 percent of all the presidents and 10 percent of system presidents of R1 universities as of September 2021. The study also found that 46 percent of the universities in the study had never had a woman leader.  

Women gaining in STEM employment; still underrepresented overall

New one-year estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) show that in 2019, women made up 48 percent of all workers but only 27 percent of STEM employees. This figure has risen over the last 50 years where, in 1970, women accounted for just 8 percent of STEM employees while representing 38 percent of all workers. While the disparity between the number of women in STEM and the number of women in the workforce has shrunk, they remain underrepresented in STEM careers.

Women and VC: Despite some progress, women-founded and -led companies hit harder by 2020 pandemic

While venture capital (VC) deal activity by women-(co)founded and women-led companies has increased over the last 15 years by some metrics, a new report indicates that the 2020 pandemic and global recession impacted these companies more than companies founded and led by men. In the second edition of its annual All In Report, PitchBook expands on its efforts to shed light on the dynamics of women’s participation in the VC market. While participation in the VC market was impacted for companies founded and led by men and women in 2020, the report highlights the impact on women-founded and -led companies by showing recent declines in nearly every measure used in the report compared to nearly constant pre-pandemic trends in increased deal count, deal value, company valuation, and exit rates by women-founded and -led companies.

Women’s progress could be setback decades due to pandemic fallout

As the pandemic turned workplaces upside down, women in particular have been negatively impacted. Women, especially women of color, are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed and the supports that working women relied on, namely school and child care, have been upended. As a result, more than a quarter of women are contemplating downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce, according to Women in the Workplace, the sixth in the series from McKinsey and LeanIn.Org, which calls the current situation “an emergency for corporate America.” And, a recent New York Times story this week detailed how alarm bells are also ringing for women in academia, who already faced obstacles in advancing their research and careers.


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