Empowering Women to Pursue STEM Advice, Resources and Opportunities for Women in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology

Meet the Expert

Written by…

Hannah Fattor Read bio

Our world becomes more technologically advanced every day. We make scientific discoveries and engineer solutions that streamline our lives, and these advancements affect everyone. But women have historically been underrepresented in the industries that drive technology; science, math, engineering, computers and more. Though that mindset has been changing, there is still an incredible opportunity for women to develop and change the face of STEM industries as we know them today. No matter the stage of life or education level, this page offers advice and introduces resources that can help women gain the confidence to set STEM education and career goals.

STEM Experts: What Women Bring to the Table

The United States will need 1.7 million more engineers and computing professionals before 2025 to keep up with technological advancements, yet women make up only 12 percent of engineers and 26 percent of computing professionals according to a 2015 executive report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). It’s important for women to be a larger part of science, engineering and tech industries because of their unique perspectives, voices and experiences. Here what these industry experts have to say about what women bring to the table in STEM fields.

Facilitation and management skills

I think women have really honed their ability to manage and track multiple projects. All that additional invisible workload means they are much more adept at managing crisis situations.

Luann Abrams, Manager at FoundersPad

An aerospace engineer who spent most of her 15 years in aviation working for a start-up aircraft company in Bend, OR, Abrams earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She led the certification engineering program at Columbia Aircraft where she oversaw the certification of several aircraft models and ensured that all designs met applicable regulations. She is currently the Manager at FoundersPad, an early-stage venture fund and mentorship program.

Creativity and teamwork

I have seen, over and over, that the best solutions are developed when problems are tackled by teams and when those teams have a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives. The world needs your creative brainpower if we are serious about developing medicines for all, clean energy, low-cost communications systems, or simply feeding the planet.

Joseph Helble, Dean at Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth University

Dean and Professor of Engineering since 2005, Helble received his BS in chemical engineering from Lehigh University and his PhD in chemical engineering from MIT. Before joining Thayer School, Helble was named the 2004–2005 Roger Revelle Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received a young faculty Career Award from the National Science Foundation, an outstanding young faculty award from the University of Connecticut School of Engineering and the Barnard Award from AAAS. In 2014, Helble, along with three Thayer colleagues, was a recipient of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education for the design and implementation of Dartmouth’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Program.

Compassionate, inclusive thinking

Women bring a larger perspective to problem-solving. They create their solutions by thinking of others. Women are more likely to see how a suggested solution will impact another group of people.

Veronica I. Arreola, Program Director at Latin@s Gaining Access to Networks
for Advancement in Science
, at University of Illinois at Chicago

Arreola turned her degree in biological sciences and minor in women’s studies into a career working on diversity issues in STEM. She also holds a MA in Public Administration with a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is the program director of Latin@s Gaining Access to Networks for Advancement in Science at UIC. Arreola’s work on behalf of women and girls has been recognized with a UIC Woman of the Year award; the community with a Chicago Foundation for Women Impact Award; and the White House with an organizational Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Unique perspectives

Women help ensure design, testing and engineering solutions consider more factors than only those from one limited perspective. There is a cost incurred when we don’t come up with a solution that has considered many perspectives and angles.

Tricia Berry, Director of the Women in Engineering
Program
, at University of Illinois at Chicago

Berry leads efforts to recruit and graduate women as Director of the Women in Engineering Program at The University of Texas at Austin (UT). She earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from UT and her MBA from the University of Houston – Clear Lake.  She is a Society of Women Engineers Life Member and a member and Past President of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network. Berry has been recognized for her efforts in gender equity and STEM with the 2011 SXSW Interactive Dew Winburne Community Service Award, 2014 Girl Scouts of Central Texas Women of Distinction Award, 2014 WEPAN Founders Award, 2014 Skillpoint Alliance Unlocking the Potential Award, and was named one of the 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector.

Diverse personal experience

Every person brings a different experience; without women or minorities, a team lacks diversity of perspective, and creative solutions are lost. Science needs women in STEM. Society needs women in STEM. Without women in these fields, half of our best ideas are lost.

Amber DiLoreto, Environmental Specialist at Portland General Electric

Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Goucher College with a BA in Chemistry and a minor in dance, DiLoreto works as an Environmental Specialist in the Environmental Services department at Portland General Electric (PGE) in Portland, OR. Her current role focuses on environmental assessment, environmental remediation and waste management.

Collaboration

Women in general are much more collaborative than men are. Men are more competitive, women are more collaborative, and companies are starting to realize how valuable that collaboration is. Collaboration between adjacent, related fields brings an integrated, holistic perspective.

Maurya McClintock, Director at McClintock Façade Consulting, LLC

McClintock is the Director of McClintock Facade Consulting, LLC, based in the California Bay Area. She earned her BS in Architectural Engineering from University of Colorado Boulder, and her MS in Structural Engineering and Masters of Architecture degrees from University of California, Berkeley. She has designed buildings as a façade engineer, structural engineer and mechanical engineer in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia. She also teaches courses through the American Institute of Architects.

Ability to ‘do it all’

It’s certainly not easy, but women have the “you can do it all” approach—you can have a career, and raise a family, and do research as well. Women who make it work are great role models.

Alison Paradise, Instructor in the Department of Mathematics
and Computer Science
at the University of Puget Sound

Paradise is an instructor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Puget Sound (UPS). She earned a BS in Mathematics and Economics with a minor in French and Computer Science from UPS, and an MS in Mathematics from Washington State University (WSU). She has been teaching a variety of freshman courses at UPS ever since graduating from WSU.

Girls Can! Overcoming Challenges & Succeeding in STEM Classes

Because women have historically been underrepresented in STEM industries and leadership positions within STEM fields, the thought of taking the road is less traveled and pursuing a STEM education may feel uncomfortable. Sexist hiring practices are an unfortunate reality, as are ingrained biases about a woman’s presence in STEM industries. While there may be obstacles for women interested in these fields, there are many success stories: women have and continue to overcome these obstacles daily. Here are some common struggles, with advice from women succeeding in STEM.

Expert Advice
  • Luann Abrams , manager at FoundersPad and a trained aerospace engineer, says, “It’s highly unlikely that you’d truly be the only woman, but even if you are one of only a few, I’d recommend embracing it. Be confident in who you are in both your femininity and your technical ability.” STEM educators are also gaining a greater understanding and more training around how to encourage girls in their classes.
  • Maurya McClintock, Director of McClintock Façade Consulting LLC, says, “You have to get over it. The culture of boys in tech classes is getting better at accepting women, and it’s going to filter up into the industry from schools. Have a bit of patience. Things aren’t perfect but they’re getting better, and you should do what you can to make it better as fast as possible.”

Expert Advice
  • These types of ingrained biases can steer girls away from math and science, as they are told that boys are simply better at these subjects than girls. Dr. Joseph Helble, Dean of Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, says, “I think this idea that that one needs to be a brilliant math and science student to even consider studying engineering is simply wrong.” Instead, he thinks the ideal STEM student is “anyone who is curious, open-minded and interested in creating things that might change the world.”

Expert Advice
Expert Advice
  • It can be hard to suggest an idea that seems half-formed, but STEM Program Director Victoria Arreola insists, “You don’t have to be perfect to work in STEM.” In her work with Latin@s Gaining Access to Networks for Advancement in Science, she sees that “women need to be better at shrugging things off. You should realize you’re probably doing better than you think. Research shows women underestimate how well they’re doing in a class, while men overestimate how well they’re doing.”

  • Amber DiLoreto, an Environmental Specialist for PGE, says, “Even when you are young or inexperienced, you bring valuable perspective. Be confident in your ideas, and learn to communicate them effectively and persistently. People are more inclined to listen when they trust and respect you, and when they believe you have the best interests of the team at heart.”

Expert Advice
  • Maurya McClintock acknowledges that, “In a male-dominated field, one of the challenges is that it can be really hard for women to be promoted to leadership roles.” However, she is quick to point out that even if women find run into promotional obstacles, they can still use the same skills in a career that is not in STEM. “Instead of trying to move up in one path, it might be interesting to try moving sideways. In engineering or architecture, if there’s a strong glass ceiling, women can get into construction, or take on management positions in contracting, where their unique perspective and background are valued.”

Expert Advice
  • Even if it is a reality many women in STEM face, sexual harassment does not have to be accepted or tolerated. And it isn’t guaranteed. Amber DiLoreto says, “In four years of college and three years as a professional in a STEM field, I have not experienced sexual harassment. It happens, certainly, but it is not inevitable.”

  • Tricia Berry, Director of the Women in Engineering Program at The University of Texas at Austin, advises women entering STEM industries to “Know your rights. Explore the culture of a company before you sign on to work for them. Understand the setting you’re headed into by talking to employees and others in your industry. Be brave and be bold and be confident.”

Expert Advice
  • “More often than not, it is the woman who has the added burden of giving up her career for her family,” says Luann Abrams. “If a woman wants to stay at home with her kids for a few years, I’d recommend she continue to stay involved in the industry as much as possible to make re-entry a little easier.” Many tech and computer companies offer ‘returnships’ for women and other minorities who want to re-enter the workforce after a break.

Additional STEM Development Resources For Girls and Women

Competitions and Awards

  • Black Girls CODE Hackathon

    Who It’s For: Girls ages 12 to 17

    These two- to three-day competitions cultivate software problem solving skills as participants build apps, games and/or tools based on the selected topic for the year. Dates and locations vary, and hackathons are held around the U.S.

  • Technovation Competition

    Who It’s For: Girls ages 10 to 18

    Teams of girls from around the world identify a need in their community, then create a mobile app solution to address that need. They learn how to develop their ideas into a business, and earn prizes based on their ideas and solutions.

  • Marvel Movie Contests

    Who It’s For: High school girls, ages 15 to 18

    Marvel Studios invites girls in the United States to identify an issue or need and create a project that works to solve this problem using their specific area of interest in STEM.

  • ProjectCSGIRLS Competition

    Who It’s For: Middle school girls, ages 9 to 13

    The United States’ oldest and largest national competition for middle school girls, this building competition challenges girls to solve a social problem using computer science and technology.

  • National Center for Women and IT Award for Aspirations in Computing

    Who It’s For: High school girls, ages 14 to 18

    This national award honors girls who work computing and technology and want to pursue these fields in their educational careers. Recipients must show their interest and achievements in computing and express their continued plans for post-secondary education in technology.

  • Girls in Technology (GIT) Scholarships

    Who It’s For: Middle to high school girls, ages 9 to 18

    All Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia students who participate in a “Girls in Technology” program are able to apply for several different organization scholarships. They must submit an essay or video response to the yearly prompt to be considered.

  • EngineerGirl’s Egirl Essay Contest

    Who It’s For: Elementary through high school students, ages 7 to 18

    Entrants write an original response to prompts, which change each year but consistently ask about real-world applications of engineering principles.

  • Abie Awards

    Who It’s For: Female college students and adult women

    The annual Abie Awards are held at the Grace Hopper Celebration, an annual event by the Anita B Foundation, and celebrate women technologists and those who support women in tech. There is an award designated for exceptional female undergraduate or graduate students.

  • Association for Women Geoscientists Awards

    Who It’s For: Female college students and adult women

    There are awards for students and for professionals in the field of geoscience through this mentorship organization. There are also scholarships available through various chapters of AWG.

Conferences, Programs and Webinars

  • Girls in Tech Global Classroom

    Who It’s For: All ages

    Anyone interested in learning how to navigate and code in WordPress can sign up for a distance-learning course through Girls in Tech. The eight-week course is completely free and students learn from mentors as well as their instructor.

  • NASA Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research (SISTER Program)

    Who It’s For: Middle school students, ages 9 to 13

    NASA provides the opportunity for middle schoolers to meet female engineers, mathematicians, and scientists at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. The week-long program also introduces participants to the many opportunities available through NASA, including internships and educational programs at Goddard.

  • Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh)

    Who It’s For: Female college students and adult women

    COACh’s international workshops build the career skills of scientists and engineers, including communication, starting in STEM, presentation skills, leadership-building, negotiation and successful mentoring and networking.

  • Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference

    Who It’s For: Adult women

    An international conference focused on empowering, engaging, educating and supporting the entrepreneurship of women in technology. A range of women in tech attend the presentations, including software engineers, product marketers, students and digital marketers.

  • GIT Career Planning Seminars

    Who It’s For: Female college students

    College students attending this all-day seminar learned to identify career opportunities in STEM as well as learning interviewing techniques and resume-building strategies.

  • Global STEM Talent Summit Initiative

    Who It’s For: Adult women

    This yearly summit is designed to develop STEM talent-cultivation strategies and provides opportunities to discuss future STEM career pathways. It is led by employers in STEM fields and serves as a networking resource.

Mentorships And Job Shadowing

  • GIT Mentor-Protégé Program

    Who It’s For: Girls ages 12 to 18

    During five monthly sessions, mentors in STEM teach leadership, networking and presentation skills to girls in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

  • NASA Girls and Boys

    Who It’s For: Students ages 11 to 14

    Girls and boys in the U.S. will be mentored online for five weeks by a NASA employee and complete lessons that will help explore STEM fields.

  • TechWomen

    Who It’s For: Adult women

    Professionals in the tech world mentor women from other cultures who are entering tech, develop their skills and networks to overcome community challenges, and provide support for women entering STEM.

  • Women Entering and Staying in Tech (WEST)

    Who It’s For: Adult women

    Mentees in this six-month program learn from men and women who have strong careers in technical roles that include engineering, product design and web development.

  • Million Women Mentors

    Who It’s For: Female college students and adult women

    This national program provides mentorship opportunities to girls and women, seeking to help them succeed in STEM fields. Mentors can provide in-person or online mentorship, or offer paid internships or sponsorships to mentees.

  • Association for Women in Mathematics Mentoring Network

    Who It’s For: Female college students

    This mentorship network matches male and female mentors with female students interested in pursuing mathematics careers. Matches are made based on common interests and educational experiences.

  • Chemistry Women Mentorship Network (Chem WMN)

    Who It’s For: Female college students

    Female mentors are available in over half of the United States to work with girls interested in pursuing chemistry education programs and careers.

Which College are Graduating Women in STEM?

Many colleges are already on board with the idea of making STEM curriculum more inclusive and exciting for everyone, including women. These innovative colleges and programs stand out more as they produce higher volumes of female tech grads. We’ve created a quick way get to know the schools; take a look at the map to find the top programs in your state, or the lists below that identify a range of excellent colleges. These are the schools getting ahead of the curve and seeing the highest numbers of female grads in science, computer technology, engineering and mathematic programs in the U.S.

Highest Volume and Percentage by State

To find the colleges and universities graduating the most women in STEM, click any state on the map and scroll to the tabs for a below for details and statistics by subject.

Schools Graduating The Most Women In STEM Nationwide

Methodology

To be eligible:

  • Schools must be public or private, not-for-profit institutions
  • Designated programs must have 10 or more total grads
  • Degrees may be first or second majors
See 2-Year College Rankings
Rank University Location % of Women Grads
1 Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA 75%
2 Great Basin College Elko, NV 70%
3 Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA 67%
4 Everest University-Pompano Beach Pompano Beach, FL 61%
5 Edgewood College Madison, WI 60%
6 Northwest Florida State College Niceville, FL 59%
7 Catholic University of America Washington, DC 53%
8 Suffolk University Boston, MA 53%
9 Columbia College Columbia, SC 53%
10 Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL 52%
11 Touro College New York, NY 51%
12 Howard University Washington, DC 50%
13 Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion Marion, IN 50%
14 Miami University-Middletown Middletown, OH 50%
15 Prairie View A & M University Prairie View, TX 50%
16 International Technological University San Jose, CA 50%
17 Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA 48%
18 Southern University at New Orleans New Orleans, LA 48%
19 Fort Valley State University Fort Valley, GA 48%
20 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN 48%
21 Austin College Sherman, TX 45%
22 Grambling State University Grambling, LA 45%
23 Virginia Union University Richmond, VA 45%
24 Wheaton College Norton, MA 45%
25 Lewis & Clark College Portland, OR 44%
26 The College of Saint Rose Albany, NY 44%
27 University of the District of Columbia Washington, DC 44%
28 Everest University-South Orlando Orlando, FL 44%
29 Creighton University Omaha, NE 43%
30 Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom Lakewood, WA 43%
31 University of South Carolina-Upstate Spartanburg, SC 43%
32 Alabama State University Montgomery, AL 43%
33 Alabama A & M University Normal, AL 43%
34 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA 42%
35 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD 42%
36 Chestnut Hill College Philadelphia, PA 42%
37 Southwestern University Georgetown, TX 42%
38 Santa Fe College Gainesville, FL 42%
39 State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota Bradenton, FL 41%
40 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA 41%
41 Colby College Waterville, ME 41%
42 Grinnell College Grinnell, IA 41%
43 Berea College Berea, KY 40%
44 Bloomfield College Bloomfield, NJ 40%
45 Peru State College Peru, NE 40%
46 University of Richmond Richmond, VA 40%
47 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA 40%
48 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT 39%
49 Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Oklahoma City, OK 39%
50 Antelope Valley College Lancaster, CA 39%
view more

2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location % of Women Grads
1 Capital Community College Hartford, CT 58%
2 Arkansas State University-Mountain Home Mountain Home, AR 57%
3 Olney Central College Olney, IL 57%
4 Riverland Community College Austin, MN 50%
5 Cerro Coso Community College Ridgecrest, CA 50%
6 Northwest-Shoals Community College Muscle Shoals, AL 50%
7 George C Wallace State Community College-Selma Selma, AL 50%
8 John Tyler Community College Chester, VA 47%
9 Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Mount Gay, WV 45%
10 Quinsigamond Community College Worcester, MA 44%
11 NorthWest Arkansas Community College Bentonville, AR 44%
12 Bossier Parish Community College Bossier City, LA 43%
13 Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin, GA 43%
14 Phoenix College Phoenix, AZ 43%
15 Aims Community College Greeley, CO 42%
16 Rio Salado College Tempe, AZ 41%
17 Columbia State Community College Columbia, TN 40%
18 Eastern Gateway Community College Steubenville, OH 40%
19 Mississippi Delta Community College Moorhead, MS 40%
20 Nash Community College Rocky Mount, NC 40%
21 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore, WI 40%
22 Southside Virginia Community College Alberta, VA 40%
23 College of the Desert Palm Desert, CA 40%
24 Richland College Dallas, TX 39%
25 Lower Columbia College Longview, WA 38%
26 Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale, AZ 38%
27 Prince George's Community College Largo, MD 38%
28 Southeastern Technical College Vidalia, GA 38%
29 SUNY Broome Community College Binghamton, NY 38%
30 Temple College Temple, TX 38%
31 West Virginia Northern Community College Wheeling, WV 38%
32 Cochise County Community College District Douglas, AZ 38%
33 J Sargeant Reynolds Community College Richmond, VA 37%
34 Lewis and Clark Community College Godfrey, IL 37%
35 Louisiana State University-Eunice Eunice, LA 36%
36 Sandhills Community College Pinehurst, NC 36%
37 Southern Arkansas University Tech Camden, AR 36%
38 Rowan College at Gloucester County Sewell, NJ 36%
39 Leeward Community College Pearl City, HI 36%
40 Crowder College Neosho, MO 35%
41 James H Faulkner State Community College Bay Minette, AL 35%
42 American River College Sacramento, CA 34%
43 Central Carolina Community College Sanford, NC 33%
44 Georgia Piedmont Technical College Clarkston, GA 33%
45 Holmes Community College Goodman, MS 33%
46 Iowa Western Community College Council Bluffs, IA 33%
47 James Sprunt Community College Kenansville, NC 33%
48 Northern Essex Community College Haverhill, MA 33%
49 Northshore Technical Community College Bogalusa, LA 33%
50 Pierpont Community and Technical College Fairmont, WV 33%
view more
Rank University Location % of Women Grads
1 United States Coast Guard Academy New London, CT 75%
2 Emory University Atlanta, GA 52%
3 The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Houston, TX 50%
4 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC 50%
5 International Technological University San Jose, CA 48%
6 California State University-Dominguez Hills Carson, CA 47%
7 Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA 47%
8 University of California-San Francisco San Francisco, CA 46%
9 Franklin W Olin College of Engineering Needham, MA 46%
10 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield, PA 46%
11 Benedict College Columbia, SC 43%
12 Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA 42%
13 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH 41%
14 Fordham University Bronx, NY 41%
15 Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA 40%
16 Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA 40%
17 Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR 40%
18 Coastal Carolina University Conway, SC 39%
19 Rogers State University Claremore, OK 39%
20 Jackson State University Jackson, MS 38%
21 CUNY Bernard M Baruch College New York, NY 38%
22 Cornell University Ithaca, NY 37%
23 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT 37%
24 Alcorn State University Alcorn State, MS 37%
25 Howard University Washington, DC 37%
26 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA 36%
27 Mercyhurst University Erie, PA 36%
28 Yale University New Haven, CT 36%
29 Brown University Providence, RI 36%
30 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA 36%
31 Tufts University Medford, MA 35%
32 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 35%
33 Christian Brothers University Memphis, TN 35%
34 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 35%
35 University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Fort Smith, AR 34%
36 LIU Post Brookville, NY 33%
37 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 33%
38 Northwestern University Evanston, IL 33%
39 Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY 33%
40 SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Syracuse, NY 33%
41 Princeton University Princeton, NJ 33%
42 Rice University Houston, TX 33%
43 Duke University Durham, NC 32%
44 Bowling Green State University-Main Campus Bowling Green, OH 32%
45 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA 32%
46 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 32%
47 Harvard University Cambridge, MA 32%
48 Stanford University Stanford, CA 32%
49 University of Virginia-Main Campus Charlottesville, VA 32%
view more

2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location % of Women Grads
1 Allegany College of Maryland Cumberland, MD 69%
2 American River College Sacramento, CA 56%
3 Southwestern College Chula Vista, CA 56%
4 Community College of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 54%
5 College of the Mainland Texas City, TX 53%
6 City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 50%
7 Hawaii Community College Hilo, HI 50%
8 Solano Community College Fairfield, CA 49%
9 MiraCosta College Oceanside, CA 46%
10 Washtenaw Community College Ann Arbor, MI 46%
11 Mid Michigan Community College Harrison, MI 42%
12 Northeast Iowa Community College Calmar, IA 42%
13 Santa Fe Community College Santa Fe, NM 39%
14 Central Carolina Technical College Sumter, SC 38%
15 Norwalk Community College Norwalk, CT 38%
16 Holyoke Community College Holyoke, MA 37%
17 Meridian Community College Meridian, MS 37%
18 Odessa College Odessa, TX 37%
19 Anne Arundel Community College Arnold, MD 37%
20 Alvin Community College Alvin, TX 36%
21 Rose State College Midwest City, OK 36%
22 Albany Technical College Albany, GA 36%
23 Taft College Taft, CA 35%
24 Pulaski Technical College North Little Rock, AR 35%
25 Honolulu Community College Honolulu, HI 33%
26 Columbia Gorge Community College The Dalles, OR 33%
27 Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara, CA 32%
28 North Lake College Irving, TX 32%
29 Del Mar College Corpus Christi, TX 31%
30 Northeast Mississippi Community College Booneville, MS 31%
31 Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus Roswell, NM 30%
32 Wayne County Community College District Detroit, MI 30%
33 Wichita Area Technical College Wichita, KS 30%
34 Collin County Community College District McKinney, TX 29%
35 Fullerton College Fullerton, CA 29%
36 Western Dakota Technical Institute Rapid City, SD 29%
37 Bates Technical College Tacoma, WA 29%
38 Arkansas State University-Newport Newport, AR 29%
39 Gateway Community and Technical College Florence, KY 29%
40 Reading Area Community College Reading, PA 29%
41 McHenry County College Crystal Lake, IL 27%
42 Mountwest Community and Technical College Huntington, WV 27%
43 Patrick Henry Community College Martinsville, VA 27%
44 El Camino Community College District Torrance, CA 27%
45 Hudson County Community College Jersey City, NJ 27%
46 Niagara County Community College Sanborn, NY 27%
47 NorthWest Arkansas Community College Bentonville, AR 27%
48 Bishop State Community College Mobile, AL 26%
49 Orange Coast College Costa Mesa, CA 26%
50 Casper College Casper, WY 26%
view more
Rank University Location % of Women Grads
1 Saint Edward's University Austin, TX 100%
2 Cornish College of the Arts Seattle, WA 100%
3 University of West Alabama Livingston, AL 93%
4 Alabama State University Montgomery, AL 92%
5 Johnson University Knoxville, TN 91%
6 Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Harrisburg, PA 91%
7 St. Mary's University San Antonio, TX 90%
8 Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX 90%
9 Nazareth College Rochester, NY 90%
10 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT 90%
11 William Woods University Fulton, MO 90%
12 Morehead State University Morehead, KY 89%
13 University of Minnesota-Duluth Duluth, MN 88%
14 Catholic University of America Washington, DC 88%
15 Beloit College Beloit, WI 85%
16 Brown University Providence, RI 84%
17 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI 84%
18 Wesleyan University Middletown, CT 84%
19 University of West Georgia Carrollton, GA 84%
20 Stockton University Galloway, NJ 83%
21 Southern Arkansas University Main Campus Magnolia, AR 82%
22 Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL 82%
23 Northwest Christian University Eugene, OR 82%
24 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS 82%
25 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY 81%
26 Clemson University Clemson, SC 81%
27 The University of Tampa Tampa, FL 81%
28 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY 81%
29 California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA 80%
30 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Platteville, WI 79%
31 Nebraska Wesleyan University Lincoln, NE 79%
32 University of New Haven West Haven, CT 79%
33 CUNY Graduate School and University Center New York, NY 79%
34 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN 78%
35 University of Houston-Clear Lake Houston, TX 78%
36 California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Pomona, CA 78%
37 Concordia University-Irvine Irvine, CA 77%
38 University of Georgia Athens, GA 77%
39 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 77%
40 Boston University Boston, MA 76%
41 University of Maine Orono, ME 76%
42 SUNY at Purchase College Purchase, NY 76%
43 California State University-Fresno Fresno, CA 75%
44 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 75%
45 Seton Hill University Greensburg, PA 75%
46 Marian University Fond Du Lac, WI 75%
47 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY 75%
48 Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY 75%
49 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 75%
50 Aurora University Aurora, IL 74%
view more

2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location % of Women Grads
1 Grossmont College El Cajon, CA 86%
2 Northern Essex Community College Haverhill, MA 83%
3 Delaware College of Art and Design Wilmington, DE 75%
4 Phoenix College Phoenix, AZ 63%
5 Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH 61%
6 Louisiana Delta Community College Monroe, LA 60%
7 Columbus Technical College Columbus, GA 60%
8 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ 57%
9 Fulton-Montgomery Community College Johnstown, NY 55%
10 John Tyler Community College Chester, VA 53%
11 Catawba Valley Community College Hickory, NC 51%
12 Riverside City College Riverside, CA 50%
13 College of the Redwoods Eureka, CA 50%
14 Prince George's Community College Largo, MD 50%
15 Moberly Area Community College Moberly, MO 50%
16 Camden County College Blackwood, NJ 48%
17 Onondaga Community College Syracuse, NY 48%
18 Cerro Coso Community College Ridgecrest, CA 45%
19 Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Mount Gay, WV 45%
20 Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara, CA 45%
21 Pellissippi State Community College Knoxville, TN 44%
22 West Valley College Saratoga, CA 44%
23 Irvine Valley College Irvine, CA 43%
24 CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College New York, NY 43%
25 Westmoreland County Community College Youngwood, PA 42%
26 Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville, NC 42%
27 Rio Salado College Tempe, AZ 42%
28 College of San Mateo San Mateo, CA 42%
29 Three Rivers College Poplar Bluff, MO 42%
30 Bossier Parish Community College Bossier City, LA 41%
31 Middlesex County College Edison, NJ 41%
32 Grayson College Denison, TX 41%
33 Front Range Community College Westminster, CO 41%
34 Randolph Community College Asheboro, NC 41%
35 Kapiolani Community College Honolulu, HI 41%
36 Mission College Santa Clara, CA 40%
37 Paris Junior College Paris, TX 40%
38 Tompkins Cortland Community College Dryden, NY 40%
39 Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City, KS 39%
40 Nash Community College Rocky Mount, NC 38%
41 Cabrillo College Aptos, CA 38%
42 Dutchess Community College Poughkeepsie, NY 38%
43 North Lake College Irving, TX 38%
44 Orange County Community College Middletown, NY 37%
45 Hillsborough Community College Tampa, FL 36%
46 Central Ohio Technical College Newark, OH 36%
47 York County Community College Wells, ME 36%
48 Hawkeye Community College Waterloo, IA 36%
49 Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX 35%
50 Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay, WI 34%
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Rank University Location % of Women Grads
1 Allen University Columbia, SC 100%
2 Columbia College Columbia, SC 100%
3 Everest University-South Orlando Orlando, FL 100%
4 Huntington University Huntington, IN 100%
5 Jones College-Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 100%
6 Ohio University-Lancaster Campus Lancaster, OH 100%
7 Pine Manor College Chestnut Hill, MA 100%
8 Silver Lake College of the Holy Family Manitowoc, WI 100%
9 Stevens-Henager College Logan, UT 100%
10 Wilson College Chambersburg, PA 100%
11 Mount Ida College Newton, MA 98%
12 Sarah Lawrence College Bronxville, NY 98%
13 Southwestern College Santa Fe, NM 98%
14 Bethel College-Indiana Mishawaka, IN 97%
15 Union Institute & University Cincinnati, OH 97%
16 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN 96%
17 Everest University-North Orlando Orlando, FL 96%
18 Miami University-Hamilton Hamilton, OH 96%
19 Lincoln College Lincoln, IL 96%
20 CollegeAmerica-Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO 96%
21 Reinhardt University Waleska, GA 96%
22 Marylhurst University Marylhurst, OR 95%
23 Stevens-Henager College Idaho Falls, ID 95%
24 Stevens-Henager College St. George, UT 95%
25 CollegeAmerica-Flagstaff Flagstaff, AZ 95%
26 Bluefield College Bluefield, VA 95%
27 Adler University Chicago, IL 95%
28 Bergin University of Canine Studies Rohnert Park, CA 95%
29 Marymount Manhattan College New York, NY 94%
30 Laboure College Milton, MA 94%
31 University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Chickasha, OK 94%
32 Midway University Midway, KY 94%
33 Mary Baldwin University Staunton, VA 94%
34 Cabrini University Radnor, PA 94%
35 Ursuline College Pepper Pike, OH 94%
36 Pratt Institute-Main Brooklyn, NY 94%
37 St Luke's College Sioux City, IA 94%
38 Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science Cincinnati, OH 93%
39 American Samoa Community College Pago Pago, AS 93%
40 Fontbonne University Saint Louis, MO 93%
41 College of Saint Elizabeth Morristown, NJ 93%
42 Saint Josephs College Rensselaer, IN 93%
43 Mount Mary University Milwaukee, WI 93%
44 CollegeAmerica-Denver Denver, CO 92%
45 Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing Richmond, VA 92%
46 The College of Saint Rose Albany, NY 92%
47 University of Maine at Augusta Augusta, ME 92%
48 Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences Cape Girardeau, MO 92%
49 Sentara College of Health Sciences Chesapeake, VA 92%
50 Blessing Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences Quincy, IL 92%
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2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location % of Women Grads
1 CHI Health School of Radiologic Technology Omaha, NE 100%
2 Danville Community College Danville, VA 100%
3 James Sprunt Community College Kenansville, NC 100%
4 Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus Birmingham, AL 100%
5 Nicolet Area Technical College Rhinelander, WI 100%
6 Northeastern Technical College Cheraw, SC 100%
7 Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas Helena, AR 100%
8 Remington College-Nashville Campus Nashville, TN 100%
9 Washington County Community College Calais, ME 100%
10 Windward Community College Kaneohe, HI 100%
11 Heartland Community College Normal, IL 98%
12 Mitchell Community College Statesville, NC 98%
13 Maysville Community and Technical College Maysville, KY 97%
14 Tunxis Community College Farmington, CT 97%
15 Marshalltown Community College Marshalltown, IA 97%
16 Williston State College Williston, ND 97%
17 Chattahoochee Valley Community College Phenix City, AL 97%
18 Louisiana Delta Community College Monroe, LA 97%
19 Community Care College Tulsa, OK 96%
20 Great Bay Community College Portsmouth, NH 96%
21 East Arkansas Community College Forrest City, AR 96%
22 Dakota County Technical College Rosemount, MN 96%
23 Mountain View College Dallas, TX 96%
24 Central Carolina Community College Sanford, NC 95%
25 Randolph Community College Asheboro, NC 95%
26 Southwest Mississippi Community College Summit, MS 95%
27 Montcalm Community College Sidney, MI 95%
28 Piedmont Community College Roxboro, NC 95%
29 Pine Technical & Community College Pine City, MN 95%
30 Texas County Technical College Houston, MO 95%
31 Manor College Jenkintown, PA 95%
32 New Mexico State University-Carlsbad Carlsbad, NM 95%
33 Ultimate Medical Academy-Tampa Tampa, FL 95%
34 Paul D Camp Community College Franklin, VA 95%
35 Carl Sandburg College Galesburg, IL 95%
36 Southern State Community College Hillsboro, OH 95%
37 Bristol Community College Fall River, MA 95%
38 Central Maine Community College Auburn, ME 95%
39 Shelton State Community College Tuscaloosa, AL 94%
40 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN 94%
41 University of Arkansas Community College Rich Mountain Mena, AR 94%
42 Richland Community College Decatur, IL 94%
43 Moberly Area Community College Moberly, MO 94%
44 South Suburban College South Holland, IL 94%
45 Tri-County Community College Murphy, NC 94%
46 Richmond Community College Hamlet, NC 94%
47 Cape Cod Community College West Barnstable, MA 94%
48 Highland Community College Highland, KS 94%
49 Quinebaug Valley Community College Danielson, CT 94%
50 West Virginia Northern Community College Wheeling, WV 94%
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Top Women’s Colleges Graduating STEM Students

Attending a women’s college is also an option growing in popularity for women interested in pursuing STEM degrees. Women’s colleges boast a strong nurturing, supportive and communal environment, and this can be particularly beneficial for STEM students. From mentorship opportunities, scholarships, internships to extra programs that are designed to encourage women to pursue STEM, we’ve determined the women’s colleges that are graduating the most women into STEM fields.

Rank University Location Number of Women
1 Wellesley College Wellesley, MA 48
2 Mary Baldwin University Staunton, VA 31
3 Smith College Northampton, MA 22
4 Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA 20
5 Barnard College New York, NY 14
6 Texas Woman's University Denton, TX 13
7 Simmons College Boston, MA 12
8 Spelman College Atlanta, GA 6
9 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA 5
10 Meredith College Raleigh, NC 5
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Rank University Location Number of Women
1 Smith College Northampton, MA 34
2 Sweet Briar College Sweet Briar, VA 5
3 Scripps College Claremont, CA 3
4 Spelman College Atlanta, GA 1
Rank University Location Number of Women
1 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA 17
2 Simmons College Boston, MA 14
3 Stephens College Columbia, MO 5
4 Cedar Crest College Allentown, PA 4
5 Scripps College Claremont, CA 3
6 Brenau University Gainesville, GA 2
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Rank University Location Number of Women
1 Texas Woman's University Denton, TX 1311
2 St Catherine University Saint Paul, MN 776
3 Simmons College Boston, MA 566
4 Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, MD 316
5 Brenau University Gainesville, GA 251
6 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA 196
7 Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA 155
8 Smith College Northampton, MA 151
9 Wellesley College Wellesley, MA 134
10 Saint Mary's College Notre Dame, IN 133
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Underrepresented and Underprivileged STEM Education Support

STEM fields benefit from bright, interested, creative students from diverse backgrounds and opportunity levels. Many organizations and schools are working to provide a greater range and higher quality of programs to students, and there are initiatives that seek to increase the diversity of students interested in STEM. Below are a few examples of educational support systems and opportunities available to students who are part of a racial, socioeconomic, or gender minority groups, including women, who may be interested in pursuing a STEM education.

  • CS Education for All by the National Science Foundation

    ECS programs provide both professional development and a curriculum designed to bring computer science learning to public high schools, with the goal to increase equity and access to these courses.

  • Girl Scouts Imagine Stem

    This series through Girl Scouts of America works to engage girls in STEM. Parents, volunteers or girls who want to engage in this program can ask their local Girl Scout council about joining.

  • CODE Computer Science Principles

    CODE, which is endorsed by the College Board, provides curricula that are suitable for high school students new to computer science. Teachers interested in providing computer science classes to students will find many resources and various levels of classes that they can offer their students.

  • NMSI College Readiness Initiative

    The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) offers several programs to strengthen STEM education, including a College Readiness Program designed to increase the number of students succeeding in advanced math and science classes, particularly female students and African-American and Hispanic students.

  • Ventures Scholars

    This national membership program seeks to support minority and first-generation college applicants who want to pursue STEM degrees. Students are nominated for membership based on their academic achievements and can connect with institutions that have committed to support Ventures Scholars.

  • 100K in 10

    This national network is working to add 100,000 great STEM teachers into classrooms around the U.S. in order to educate children about STEM opportunities. Partners and supporters of 100K in 10 include academic institutions, nonprofits, companies and government organizations dedicated to supporting STEM teachers.

  • AISES Programs

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society works with pre-college students as well as current college students and professionals to provide mentorship opportunities, programs, and events to encourage Native American people to engage in STEM fields.

  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions – STEM and Articulation Programs

    The U.S. Department of Education offers a grant to institutions that are seeking to improve the quality of their STEM programs and encourage Hispanic and low-income students to earn degrees in STEM.

  • Made with Code

    Google supports this program, which encourages teen girls to code with fun, creative projects and video examples of women succeeding in STEM.

  • NexGeneGirls

    This organization provides mentorship opportunities as well as after-school STEM programs for girls of color who live in low-income California Bay Area communities.

  • T-STEM

    Middle and high schools participating in the Texas STEM Initiative focus on improving existing STEM courses and increasing the number of students studying and pursuing STEM.

  • Women in Cell Biology (WICB)

    As an advocacy group within the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), members support women’s voices and encourage women to participate in the ASCB’s annual conference.

  • MESA Schools Program

    A partnership of 11 states that have joined together to encourage disadvantaged elementary, middle, and high school students to achieve academically in math, science and engineering. The program includes academic skill training, college and career explorations, and specialized classes for students to work on math, engineering and science projects.

  • PLTW Computer Science

    Project Lead the Way (PLTW) works to engage high school students in creating technology and developing computer science skills and educational strategies. Teachers gain access to professional development opportunities to teach these computer science programs to their students.

Women Changing Careers or Going Back to School in STEM

Careers in STEM, particularly in computer science and engineering, are projected to expand rapidly in the next decade, and the salaries and opportunities in these positions are very favorable. No matter what career stage you are in, it’s a great time to get into STEM, even if you studied in an unrelated field. Here are some tips to build your confidence if you’re considering changing directions and starting over in STEM.

DO

Look into programs that suit your schedule. Full-time classes are possible, but there are ways to work and take classes part-time. Certificate programs in the STEM fields are a lower time commitment and often lower cost.

Learn more about the curriculum, and some of the teaching methods and learning styles different professors use, before enrolling in a STEM class.

Get into a growth mindset and keep trying when you encounter educational challenges or hard classes. Challenges are opportunities to learn, and struggling with new concepts is a part of learning and growing at a student.

Find a program that offers opportunities to connect with others in your field. You can find great mentorships and support systems through networking organizations and events. Develop relationships with your peers, especially other women.

Discover how a college is making their program accessible to beginning students. Look for programs explicitly welcoming new learners by accommodating different levels of experience and providing early research opportunities.

Take advantage of office hours to talk to your professors if you have any questions about the material or your future. You have the opportunity to speak with people who have experiences you can learn from, and you can show your commitment to your own education.

DON’T

Don’t commit to a program without considering time and cost. There are informal low-cost or no-cost ways to learn coding basics, science and math outside of school. Online courses are a great option to learn more about an area of STEM before you commit to enrollment with an accredited institution.

Don’t be afraid to take a class because you don’t understand what it means yet. If you’re not sure what a class really entails, talk to your advisor or get in touch with the professor to learn more.

Don’t believe the stereotypes that “girls can’t code” or “girls aren’t good at math.” Engineering, math, and technical skills are developed over time, not just innate talents.

Don’t consider other women in your field to be a threat to your own job prospects. Companies and programs may hire limited numbers of women trying to fill a diversity quota, but female allies can make working in a male-dominated environment easier.

Don’t believe that just because a class is difficult, you shouldn’t be in STEM. There are many aspects of a STEM degree, and struggling in one class or area does not mean that you won’t succeed in your field overall.

Don’t struggle through a class you’re having a tough time understanding. Asking questions is an important part of learning, and working on a complicated problem or project alone can be frustrating. Ask for help when you need it—it is not a sign of weakness and is often respected and expected by professors.

STEM Resources For Women Seeking Career Change

  • National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)

    This national non-profit supports women’s participation in computing by helping other organizations recruit, retain and advance women in tech and entrepreneurial careers. NCWIT provides alliances and mentorship, free resources and programs to members.

  • Path Forward

    Path Forward is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people to restart their careers after they have spent time away for maternity leave or other caregiving responsibilities. They work with companies to create mid-career internships that give women (and men) a jumpstart back to the paid workforce.

  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

    This organization works to help women achieve their full potential in engineering and leadership roles. SWE provides a range of programming for continued learning, including podcasts, graduate school resources and professional development sessions.

  • Women in Bio webinars

    Through this membership organization, experts provide ongoing, monthly webinars that discuss various topics relevant to women working in biology fields. Members also have access to a video library of past webinars.

Learn More About Top Careers in STEM

How Companies are Encouraging Women in STEM

STEM-based companies have begun initiatives to expand the number of minorities and women they hire and work to retain. They recognize that diversity contributes to company culture and company success, and women interested in entering tech and engineering companies can find many careers where they will shine. Below are a few examples of major STEM companies that offer incentives and other opportunities specifically for women.

Aerospace Corporation

This company maintains several advisory groups—The Inclusion and Equal Opportunity office and the Aerospace Diversity Action Committee—to ensure Aerospace can attract, employ, and retain diverse talent. These committees also advise on workplace practices and other inclusion issues at the company.

AT&T’s Women

The telecommunications company AT&T, headquartered in Texas, offers an employee resource group to women who are employed by or interested in working for AT&T. This group promotes the value of women’s contributions and also offers resources for careers at AT&T for military spouses.

BPM’s Women’s Initiative Now! (WIN)

This California-based accounting and consulting firm, which works mainly with businesses and wealthy individuals, is focusing on recruiting and retaining women in their company. They cite a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics that found having at least 30% female leaders in a business can add 6% to the net profit margin, and celebrate the unique thinking that women bring to their company.

Etsy

The online shop Etsy, headquartered in New York City, has explicitly committed to greater hiring diversity. Their 2016 diversity report showed more than half of their leadership roles are held by women, and the report cites their partnerships with organizations such as Lesbians Who Tech and the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

GE

In 2017, General Electric committed to establish equal gender representation in entry-level technical programs and increase the number of women hired at the company by 2020. They introduced an advisory council to assist with retention strategies and developing career advancement and leadership cultivation, and have sponsored GE Girls to encourage girls around the U.S. to engage in STEM.

Intel

Intel is a U.S.-based technology company that expresses a commitment to diversity and inclusion on their website. Their strategies for encouraging diverse hires and retaining these employees include advisors that employees can reach out to for career insight and support, and resource groups that connect employees with peers who share common backgrounds, such as the Women at Intel Network. They also committed a division of Intel to invest in businesses led by women and minorities.

NASA’s Women and Girls Initiative

The women employed at National Aeronautics and Space Association have a voice through the Women and Girls Initiative. NASA’s commitment to encouraging women to join the STEM workforce supports resources for girls interested in learning about women’s careers at the company and student opportunities to learn on-site at NASA.

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