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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Women Fleeing Science, Tech Fields

A woman leaving her job.

A recent survey found many women are leaving the science, engineering, and technology fields.

Credit: Steve Cole/Getty

Although the talent pipeline of female workers in science, engineering, and technology (SET) is growing, many women are leaving these in-demand fields, according to a recent Center for Talent Innovation survey.

The survey found that although women make up almost 50 percent of SET college graduates, about 33 percent of them say they feel stalled and are likely to leave their respective SET field within one year.

"Women in science are struggling against the lab coat culture, women in engineering are facing the hard hat culture, and women in technology are facing the geeky, late-night hacking culture," says Center for Talent Innovation researcher Tara Gonsalves.

In the United States, 80 percent of women love their work, but many feel excluded from male-dominated networks and a lack of female role models. In addition, 23 percent of respondents said women could never get a top position at their company.

The report recommends that organizations provide more sponsorship opportunities to women to help them improve their chances of being perceived as leadership material.

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