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.
"Paradoxically, our country needs more engineers, but is not taking advantage of the engineering potential of its minority citizens... Texas industry and education have united to launch a unique state-wide attack on the problem. The unusual partnership is called Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME)." The full article was reprinted in that year's Annual Report
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.