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STEM careers employing more women, still room to improve

Researchers examined four data gathered over the course of four years and published a report indicated that the number of women in STEM careers is increasing, but there are still disparities in employment. The acronym STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and math, career areas that have traditionally seen more men than women. Employers in New York and around the country are required by law to provide a workplace free of discrimination, and the data in the report might help to shed light on discriminatory practices in STEM careers.

The report was published in Cell Stem Cell, a scientific journal. The study included data from 541 organizations in 38 countries across North America and Europe. According to one of the study's co-authors, the data indicate that progress is being made, but there is still significant room for improvement. Among the organizations involved, the average grade was 4.0, meaning that women made up 40% of the total speakers, instructors and students at the organization.

As seniority increased within the institutions, though, the number of women decreased. The co-author of the study said there were differences in the data based on region. Specifically, organizations in Europe had more women in higher positions. The study identified areas for improvement, including developing benchmarks for diversity and establishing support for child and family care. Most of the organizations involved, 72%, were North American and represented basic scientific fields rather than clinical science fields.

Discrimination in the workplace based on gender is prohibited by federal and state. An attorney who practices employment law might be able to help those who believe they've been discriminated against by examining the facts of the case and advising the client regarding potential avenues of relief. An attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement with the employer or file a complaint based on workplace discrimination in cases that cannot be resolved.

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