Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2015

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 52 of 75

PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA 54 WONDER WOMEN STEM and the Future of Legal Tech FEATURES article, it is puzzling why there are not more women in STEM careers. However, more men receive bachelor's degrees in STEM disciplines, such as computer science. The outlook is even worse when you see that female attainment of STEM degrees over the past 20 years is down 50 percent. While women earn 57 percent of bachelor's degrees, women hold only 12 percent of computer science degrees, according to Ruthie Friedlander, author of "Why We Need Women Who Code." Why are more women choosing to pursue an education, but fewer are choosing to focus their education on a STEM discipline? Travin argues there are not more women in STEM due to "the working environment." Being the only woman in a team of men can be lonely and isolating for female technologists. They can face difficulties related to teammates and attracting opportunities for advancement. This makes sense for those in the workforce, but what about young women in high school and college? Something must happen earlier, much earlier. Kimberly Kiel, a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry, published an article in the Huffington Post titled "A Message to Girls and Graduates Interested in STEM: degree earners each year, but roughly four million job vacancies for computer workers. In all, the median duration of advertising for STEM vacancies is more than twice that of those in other fields." Travin wrote, "You are going to need us [women]," and she's right. In the past, we advocated for women in STEM to increase diversity and provide equal opportunities for women in what can be an incredibly rewarding career path. Now, the stakes are higher, and our global economy depends on capable talent to support and innovate within the technological infrastructure where we live and work. Women in legal technology are no longer a "nice to have," but rather a "must have." WHERE ARE ALL THE STEM WOMEN? It's clear there is a need and opportunity for women in STEM careers, but there is the matter of having women to fill them. There are few qualified female candidates in the market today. This is no surprise, as it is widely known that women are an underrepresented population in the STEM and legal technology fields. But why? If you consider that today more women than men earn college degrees, as noted in a March 2014 As we enter the next decade, we face a talent shortage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. The STEM talent gap also pertains to the legal sector. One possible solution: We should encourage women to pursue a STEM education and join the brightest legal technology minds in our industry. INSIDE THE STEM TALENT GAP The need for talent to meet the demands of the market over the coming decade is considerable, and much of the talent in demand will be in STEM disciplines. According to Myra T. Travin, a learning and innovation specialist, by 2020 there will be one million more STEM jobs than people to fill them. Unfilled STEM positions are not just a prediction of the future, but a reality of today. U.S. News & World Report's Jonathan Rothwell used data from labor market analytics firm, Burning Glass, to generate the following conclusions: "There are some 40,000 computer science bachelor's

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