Women outnumber men in colleges throughout the U.S. and many other parts of the world, The Washington Post reported.
At the same time more women are enrolling, fewer men are choosing to pursue higher education, the newspaper reported.
U.S. Department of Education statistics show 56% of college students are women; 50 years ago, they made up 42% of the college population, according to the Post.
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Another report predicts that women will become the majority in the college-educated workforce in 2019.
“While women have only recently reached parity with men in the college-educated workforce, they have been a majority of college-educated adults for more than a decade,” wrote the authors of the Pew Research Center report.
Yet, women are significantly underrepresented in certain fields, such as computer occupations and engineering, and in top leadership positions, the report found.
And despite educational gains—which include the pursuit of higher-paying majors—women still earn less than men, according to the 2018 “Women Can’t Win,” report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce in Washington, D.C.
Yet, some companies “are restructuring their compensation and benefits packages to attract these qualified women,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
‘Raise your hand regardless’
At the UB Tech® 2019 conference in Orlando, speakers at the Women in Technology summit discussed practical steps women can take to advance, leverage technology and support future generations.
“It’s not easy to be heard,” Nada Marie Anid, vice president for strategic communications and external affairs at the New York Institute of Technology, said during the summit. “When women speak at meetings, they tend to be ignored. When they come up with an idea, someone else repeats the same idea and makes it theirs. Raise your hand regardless.”
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Ashley Podhradsky, associate professor of information assurance and forensics and associate dean of Dakota State University in South Dakota, said at the summit that girls become more engaged in computer science when they get to visit a college campus and meet university students pursuing tech degrees.
Beverly Magda, associate provost of strategic partnerships at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania, presented a session called “Networking for Women in Leadership.” Magda urged summit attendees to identify individuals who can vouch for their work and character, and can push them out of their comfort zones.
“I know what it’s like to be the only woman in the room and how uncomfortable it is to lift your voice,” Magda said. “I want my work to speak for itself, but sometimes you have to promote yourself. That’s difficult for women because we consider it bragging.”