This morning, Michigan State Representative Christine Greig introduced House Resolution 0318 to declare June 2016 as Women in Science and Technology Month in the state of Michigan. The resolution, which garnered significant support from other legislators, was adopted later in the session.
In a statement to Science Around Michigan, Rep. Greig addressed why the issue of underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields was such an important topic for the legislature to bring to attention. Drawing on her own experience in a STEM field, Rep. Greig brought a particularly personal interest to the resolution and to both its necessity and its relative importance to Michigan’s communities and economy moving into the future.
Today I was proud to introduce a resolution declaring June Women in Science and Technology Month. The declaration highlights the need to unlock the talents and passion of women in the fields of science and technology.
A significant gender gap exists in the participation of science and technology disciplines and workforce. Women earn nearly 60 percent of bachelor’s degrees, but are underrepresented in science and technology-related college degrees, especially in the computer sciences and engineering fields. Women represented 35 percent of computer occupations in 1990, but that number declined to 26 percent by 2013.
As was my own experience as a technology consultant for more than 20 years, women in science and technology professions earn more than women in non-science and technology-related occupations. Only 22 percent of engineering graduates in Michigan are women and only 20 percent of engineers in the workforce are women.
It is my goal to provide more opportunities to girls and women in these fields by offering more community and school-based programs at earlier ages.
Rep. Christine Greig is in her first term representing Michigan’s 37th District, which comprises Farmington and Farmington Hills. She serves on the House Communications and Technology, Education and Workforce and Talent Development committees.