How to address the gender gap in STEM

As the world turns attention to the #February11 International Day of Girls and Women in Science, KC STEM Alliance releases findings from its research into how to address the gender gap in STEM at a local level.


Kansas City, MO (February 11, 2021)—The KC STEM Alliance today released findings from its focus group research into the best and next practices for closing the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

Cover page of report featuring two teenage girls working with toolsResearch shows women make up less than one third of the science and engineering workforce, and the gap is especially pronounced in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs, including engineering and computer science.

To understand how to best address this gap locally, the KC STEM Alliance hosted a series of focus groups with a cross sector of 25 women and girls, including students, teachers, mentors, STEM professionals and nonprofit leaders.

These conversations uncovered six themes that will help guide next steps for closing the gap in the community.

“The findings show that every person in the community has a part to play,” said Martha McCabe, KC STEM Alliance Executive Director. “As parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, counselors—we can show up for the girls in our lives to spark conversations, facilitate connections and advocate for them. Even a small individual moment has the power to change the trajectory of a girl’s life.”

The findings also point to an urgent need for the Kansas City community to address the issue collectively.

“We’re inspired by those who work every day in small ways to mentor or encourage a girl and in large ways to drive systemic change,” McCabe said. “This report celebrates what’s already working and is an invitation to all of us to show up for the girls in our lives and work together to drive change.”

Download the full report, including a two-page summary of Next and Best Practices, here.