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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

IU Bloomington 11th in nation for advancing women in STEM programs

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Based on data provided by the federal government’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System on female enrollment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at universities across the nation, IU Bloomington ranks 11th in the nation and second in the Big 10 in The College Database’s 50 Colleges Advancing Women in STEM.

The nonprofit organization classified programs as “STEM” based on the National Science Foundation guidelines, which count programs in the social sciences such as anthropology or psychology, in addition to traditional STEM programs such as computer science or biochemistry.

“We have made a focused and deliberate effort on the Bloomington campus to attract and support women in science and technology, and I am delighted to see these successes recognized nationally,” IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel said. “Through targeted initiatives in teaching, research and professional development, IU Bloomington is becoming a beacon for women with an interest in these vibrant areas.”

These initiatives include the Center of Excellence for Women in Technology, which facilitates professional development opportunities for female students, faculty, staff and community members working in or with technology; the Provost’s Professional Development Awards for Women in Science, which supplement travel for research and conference attendance; and the Women in STIM Student Residential Community, which provides an academically enhanced living and learning environment for undergraduate women in the science, technology, informatics and math areas.

IU Bloomington’s rank was based in part on the number of STEM programs offered, the total number of women in those programs and on the percentage of women in those programs. The university had 90 STEM programs and 1,288 women enrolled in those programs, who accounted for 51 percent of the total enrollment in those programs.

Robel added that while IU Bloomington does not have an engineering school, it boasts one of the nation’s largest schools of informatics and computing. “On our campus, we have the ‘STIM’ disciplines: science, technology, informatics and math,” she said.

According to Sarah Durkin, managing director of The College Database, providing access and support for women in the sciences is a critical task for universities looking to prepare their students for successful careers.

“It’s vital that women are encouraged to participate in strong STEM programs like Indiana University Bloomington offers to narrow the gender gap in these traditionally male arenas, academically and professionally,” Durkin said. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in STEM fields are expected to grow at twice the rate of other fields, and as job opportunities shift in this direction, The College Database wants to recognize the colleges and universities advocating for women’s educational advancement in STEM.”

More information on IU Bloomington’s initiatives for women in the STEM/STIM areas is available online.

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