Why Are There Still So Few Women in STEM?


Graphic credit: IBM in ‘Helping Women in STEM Thrive’

At the Solvay Conference on Physics in 1927, the only woman in attendance was Marie Curie.  Today, there are still few women who pursue a STEM degree or career (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).  In the US, only one-fifth of physics Ph.D.’s are awarded to women, and only 14 percent of all the physics professors are women.  Globally, only 30 percent of women, on average, participate in STEM fields, both private and public.  A Yale study published last year demonstrated that a young male scientist applying for a STEM job in education is viewed more favorably on average than a woman with the same qualifications and offered a salary nearly $4000 higher. (All facts sourced from 1 and 2 below in ‘Related’ list).

IBM is investing in women, whether new to the company, previous employees or current employees. It is providing support through mentoring and networks that can create a foundation for a career path towards technical leadership roles.  Watch the Technologista YouTube series (below) for an inside glimpse of what women at IBM are doing, and learn more about women at IBM here.



- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager The Greater IBM Connection

Women in Technology at IBM – Rejecting the ‘Expected’

technologista2IBM continues the Women Technologista series this week with two blog posts.  In the first one, IBM Senior Vice President and WITI Hall of Famer, Linda Sanford, talks about ‘Nurturing the Next Generation of Technologistas‘.  She talks about how studies have shown that women are naturally more collaborative and better at listening, two tenets for building strong teams and that teams with at least one woman outperform male-only teams.  However, women still hold less than one-fourth of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs, so how do we best tap into and grow this innate talent pool?  Mentorship is vital. Female-executive support groups and increased participation in industry associations, along with formal training and inclusion programs, would also help.  Read more on the Internet Evolution site.

In the second post, Stefanie Chiras, PhD, IBM Manager of System & Technology Group Design Center, shares how she learned to reject the ‘expected’ when she was 10 and her father told her they were going to fix a car transmission.  She said “I can’t do that,” and he replied without a pause, “People do it every day. You can certainly do it once.”  The advice, and the fact that they did fix the transmission, stuck with her.  Half the challenge is overcoming apprehension and preconceived notions.  As for advice from her own career path, she echoes some of the tenets found in the recent IBM Study of Insights from Women Executives, which are:

  • Stay visible
  • Plan your career
  • Integrate work and life

Read the full post, Rejecting ‘The Expected’:  One Woman Engineer’s Story on the Huffington Post.



- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager The Greater IBM Connection

Don’t Ignore These 5 Virtual Communication Rules

miscommunicationsMiscommunications is still one of the main problems in the workplace.  Heck, it might be one of the main problems in life.

With more of our communications virtual and online, finding the best ways to minimize misunderstanding is key to doing business successfully.

X-IBM Social Butterfly, Lorian Lipton, shares her new post on “Don’t Ignore These 5 Virtual Communication Rules” that can make a big difference in your virtual/on-line communications and help you get your message across the first time you send it.

Lorian Lipton is founder of The Digital Attitude, LLC, a specialized project management consulting and training company.  Check out her regular blog posts on social branding, project management, and just plain attitude, @ The Digital Attitude: Becoming Eminent.


Greater IBM, what would you add to these? Have you got any tips to share?

- Posted by Lorian Lipton

The IBM Jobs Blog Just Launched!

IBM Recruitment has launched its new blog – IBMJobs Blog – to provide jobseekers with information about careers, latest news, and worldwide jobs at IBM.

IBM Jobs logoVisit the blog today and find out what it means to be an IBMer and how we work together to change the way the world works. We hope you enjoy the blog and share it with others, and we hope it helps you to expand your own thoughts on how to reach your career potential with IBM.

Subscribe to IBMjobs blog by visiting http://blog.ibm.jobs/

Follow us on Twitter @IBMJobsGlobal


What do you think of the newly launched blog? Let us know in the Leave a Reply field.

- Posted by Regan Kelly

12 Things Successful Women Do Differently

In this article in The Huffington Post, author Emma Gray writes that while everyone of course has his or her own individual definition of success, there are certain traits that most successful women share.

IBM CEO Virginia Rometty

IBM CEO Virginia Rometty

“I spend a good part of my work day reading and writing about women who have achieved great things,” she writes, “and I make it a point to surround myself with women who are well on their way to doing so.”

Given what she’s observed and learned through those actions, here are 12 things that successful women do differently.


Greater IBM, what else would you add here? Let us know.


Ginni Rometty Shares Her Leadership Philosophy

Women in Technology – Consider Joining IBM

Technologista Film Series Takes Over IBM’s YouTube Channel


- Posted by Regan Kelly

Don’t Get This Wrong: What Your LinkedIn Pic Says About You

People do business with people they trust, people they relate to – is your photo trying to hide something? In this piece from LinkedIn.com, by , see how you can use your choice of photo to better connect with others for success.

A good profile photo can help build that trust and even likability – so it’s critical to get it right.

According to the author, “I see hundreds of LinkedIn profiles every week and 50 percent fail when it comes to their photo. As a business owner or executive, it’s crucial that people trust you and connect with you. You are the brand. Opinions are formed in a nanosecond. And that means the photo at the very top may be the most important part of your LinkedIn profile.”  What does that tiny thumbnail say about you?


Author Rene Shimada Siegel is founder and president of High Tech Connect, a specialized consultant placement firm for marketing and communications experts. She is a frequently requested speaker on topics such as starting your own business and marketing your unique personal brand.
Follow Rene on Twitter: @renesiegel


Greater IBM, are you considering updating your own LinkedIn profile photo? Let us know what you thought of this story, in the Leave a Reply field.
- Posted by Regan Kelly

Working from Home? Avoid the Distractions

Lots of IBMers work from home – lots of Greater IBMers too. Telecommuting may be the wave of the future, yes, but when it comes to working virtually, there are some obstacles you’ve got to tackle first in order to be successful.

time for bedWhen you work from home, the house can be full of temptations, from the fridge to the family members. Here Judy Heminsley, who founded an advice blog for home workers everywhere, shares her surefire tips for staying focused. Read the story at The Guardian.


Greater IBMers, what other tips and tricks would you add to Judy’s list? Let us know in the Leave a Reply box below.


- Posted by Regan Kelly

2 Steps To Understanding Your Hard and Soft Skills

Social Presence is about putting your best foot forward… but you need to know which foot that is.  Only when you are clear on what skills you possess can you really paint a good picture of yourself online.

Lorian Lipton

Lorian Lipton

Greater IBMer and Social Butterfly, Lorian Lipton, discusses the two types of skills that are critical to your success in business: HARD and SOFT skills. This post, complete with homework, will help you hone in on your top 10, so that you will be able to highlight them in your online profiles.

“It may be your hard skills that get you the interview, but it is your soft skills that get you the job.” (SearchCIO).  Read Lorian Lipton’s 2 Steps To Understanding Your Hard and Soft Skills, from her blog The Digital Attitude: Becoming Eminent.


Greater IBM, what would you add to these? Have you got any tips to share?

- Posted by Lorian Lipton

Who Cares about Your Weaknesses? Play to Your Strengths

Don’t miss this great case study written by bestselling author Paul B. Brown in Forbes.com, on this key idea: working on your weaknesses is about the worst thing you can do.


(Image, forbes.com)

After all, writes Brown, “I think you should do everything in your power ONLY to do what you do best….You are far better off capitalizing on what you do best, instead of trying to offset your weakness.  Making a weakness less of a weakness is simply not as good at being the best you possibly can be at something.”

Have you ever been advised to work on your own weaknesses? How did it turn out?  Read the rest of this article, and let us know what you think in the Leave a Reply section below.



It’s All a Matter of Perspective: How to Turn ‘Weaknesses’ into Strengths, by Dave Kerpen

About the author:

Paul B. Brown

Paul B. Brown (image, Forbes.com)

I am a best-selling author, and an extremely proud Forbes alum. A former writer and editor at Business Week, Inc. and Financial World, in addition to my six years at Forbes, I’ve written, co-written and “ghosted” numerous best-sellers including Customers for Life (with Carl Sewell.) My latest book, which I co-author with Leonard A. Schlesinger and Charles F. Kiefer, is Just Start: Take Action; Embrace Uncertainty; Create the Future.

- Posted by Regan Kelly

Getting Things Done: Your Problem Isn’t Lack of Time – It’s Lack Of…

A Harvard Economist’s Surprisingly Simple Productivity Secret

- by LinkedIn editor Chip Cutter, LinkedIn Today

There’s no question that in the working world, one of the most common complaints, by far, is having too little time. Workers putting in 60+ hours a week believe they don’t have enough room in their schedule even to tame their inboxes, let alone think about about big projects creatively.

Recognize this?

Recognize this?

But lack of time is not the problem, says Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan. The ultimate barrier to success is this. Read more.



5 Email Habits That Wreck Your Productivity 

11 Easy Productivity Hacks from Super Productive People

25 Hours in Your Day? 4 Tips To Get You There


- Posted by Regan Kelly