The science community has a problem: Its institutions are failing women

Geobiologist Hope Jahren explains why knowing your legal protections is probably more useful than attending another behavioral seminar on avoiding harassment.

Women make up 47% of the U.S. workforce, but only (on average) 23.75% of the science-based jobs out there. Geobiologist and author Hope Jahren wants to make that number higher. She argues that there aren't enough safeguards in place to ensure a safe working environment for women. Are there adequate sexual harassment policies in place, and will the workplace uphold them if need be? Talking about these issues and solving them in public will inevitably draw more women to positions in science, she says, and thus raise the average. Hope Jahren's latest book is Lab Girl, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.

This Toy Develops STEM Skills and Hands-On Thinking—Especially in Young Girls

Designed by two MIT professors, this build-it-yourself kit teaches kids to "think with their hands" in an effort to bolster STEM skills early on.

Gender disparity in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) continues to be a serious problem. The reasons are complex—from lack of children's stories that feature women scientists, lack of female role models and STEM toys for girls, to persisting biases and stereotypes in schools and universities, and lack of mentorship and flexibility at the workplace. According to the 2016 Science and Engineering Indicators report of the National Science Foundation, women account for only 25 percent of the employment base in the computer and mathematical sciences field and 15 percent of the engineering workforce.

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