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LinkedIn: Gender gap in STEM jobs in PH highest in APAC

The latest data from LinkedIn showed that in the Philippines, women comprised 4 out of 10 (41%) of STEM graduates in 2017, but only 3 out of 10 (36.6%) were in the STEM workforce a year later. This is the highest in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

According to LinkedIn data, many women are taking up and graduating with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degrees but only a few are taking or staying in their jobs in the sector.

“While action is already being taken to close the gender gap, we need to go further and faster to level the playing field,” Atul Harkisanka, head of Emerging Markets and country manager for the Philippines of LinkedIn, said in a statement. “Enabling more women to enter and advance in rapidly growing sectors such as STEM will help make them more resilient to external economic shocks.”

LinkedIn offers free AI-related courses
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With only a few women in the STEM workforce, it only follows that there would not be enough role models 

Supporting female in STEM workforce

The Philippines is among the countries with the largest dip in female representation after graduation with 14% thus, widening the gaps in STEM employment to 15%. 

“Organizations can create mentoring and training programs for women in STEM, where they can support women to stay in the workforce and further their careers, but also provide invaluable guidance and support networks, facilitating a path towards leadership roles through the influence of inspiring role models,” Harkisanka said.

Between graduation and entering the STEM workforce, there is a notable decline in female representation, amounting to a drop of 7 percentage points. This decrease persists as women advance through the leadership ladder.

In 2017, women accounted for 41% of STEM graduates in the Philippines. However, a year later, only approximately 36.6% of them were part of the STEM workforce. The decline in representation between graduation and workforce entry has remained relatively stable at around 11% since the 2017 graduating batch. Nevertheless, it saw an increase to 14% in 2021.

According to LinkedIn it is imperative to take steps toward leveling the playing field for women to ensure they will benefit from industry advancements as STEM is becoming more and more vital to the global economy.