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STEM Diversity Is Top Priority
Diversity in STEM is chief among the checklist items professionals seek when choosing a job and company for which to work, according to readers.
The future is in STEM, and employers across industries and in government know this, as fostering an inclusive culture is fundamental to attracting and retaining top talent, especially in the STEM fields and as STEM touches almost every aspect of business today, from creative problem-solving and critical thinking to applications, analytics and technology.
In fact, research backs up the competitive edge companies gain via a diversified workforce. For instance, a 2015 McKinsey & Company study shows ethnically diverse firms are 35% more likely to earn above-average revenue, and gender-diverse firms are 15% more likely to earn above-average revenue.
And now more than ever before you see Fortune 500 companies and large government agencies actively and heavily recruit a diversified talent pool that provides cutting-edge innovation, increased productivity and competitive edge in the U.S., and in the global marketplace.
So it’s no surprise that recruiting and retaining a diversified workforce, especially a diversified STEM workforce, is a business imperative. It’s also no surprise that it’s also top-of-mind as a top item that influences job choice among STEM talent that are also members of minority groups and diverse cultures.
That’s according to the readers who responded to STEM Workforce Diversity’s 18th Annual Reader Survey. At the same time they say this is something they seek in a company or organization for which they want to work, they also indicate that they don’t see enough diversity.
“Having just too few STEM professionals who are members of minority groups and diverse cultures to hire and in the workplace” and “needing more members of minority groups and diverse cultures in STEM hiring, management and executive positions” are two of the biggest issues readers face in the job market today.
They further indicate that there’s not enough opportunities and promotion potential, and there’s unfortunately still conscious and unconscious bias in the workforce today.
To combat this, they urge employers to emphasize diversity in the workplace, and make the workplace inviting. They also suggest searching globally for candidates, and reaching out to colleges and universities that have great diversity, as well as being open-minded and flexible, providing fair and equal opportunity for all, and hiring good and qualified employees who are both recent graduates and experienced who are also members of minority groups and diverse cultures.
At the same time they reveal these issues, they implore job seekers aspiring to enter STEM to take heart. “Be positive, keep an open mind, persevere, know you can do it, stay focused on your goals and put your nose to the grindstone,” readers advise, adding, “Know your worth, and embrace the value and diversity you bring to the workplace.”
These pieces of advice for STEM job seekers, readers feel, will help them persist and get their foot in the door at many top organizations who value diversity, just like those readers named to this year’s Top 50 Employers and the Top 20 Government Employers lists.
Just as we do every year, we once again tallied reader responses about the top STEM-concentrated companies and government agencies to see for which ones readers would most like to work or which ones readers believe would provide a positive working environment for members of minority groups and diverse cultures.
See which companies made the Top 50 Employers and the Top 20 Government Employers lists, as named by readers, on the following pages. Also on the following pages are more insights from readers, who range from recent graduates and entry-level professionals to mid-level managers, on-the-job supervisors and decision-making executives in STEM, as well as the rest of the results from this year’s survey that form an annual snapshot of the personal and professional goals of our readers.
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