Today, September 27, 2016, marks the 40-year anniversary of TAME’s work to strengthen female and minority participation in STEM careers. As we celebrate with all of you, we want to present you with some numbers: numbers that show how far we’ve come, and numbers that show how far we still have to go.
In 1978, Austin magazine provided a snapshot of the times with the article TAME Boosts Minority Students Into the Engineering Field. Although Hispanic, African-American, and Native Americans comprised 17% of the United State's total population, they represented less than 3% of the STEM workforce. Of all the civil engineers in the United States, 1.3% were female.
Forty years on, how are we doing? About 6% of today's STEM workforce is Hispanic, 6% is African-American, and 25% is female. The percentage of female civil engineers has risen to 12.7%.
Have we made progress? Absolutely. Is it enough? Not even close. Workforce diversity benefits everyone: according to recent research, mixed gender teams achieve 40% more patents than all-male teams, while gender diversity at the management level results in a $42 million increase in the value of S&P 500 firms.