Employers can use technical recruiters to boost diversity in STEM jobs

As the world embraces the digital revolution, there might be no other classification of jobs that has seen the most demand than those belonging to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The increasing reliance upon technical expertise in nearly all fields of employment in the workforce has led to a significant uptick in the availability of STEM jobs. Additionally, more students are studying STEM-related majors in the hopes of landing such positions.

However, while the attention and emphasis on STEM jobs is a good sign for employment as a whole, there is an underlying context to that circumstance. While STEM jobs are increasing, diversity is decreasing. It's a serious problem employers will need to confront, and one that can be rectified by using engineering recruiters who canvas potential applicants to ensure both quality and diversity.

Lack of women and minorities in STEM professions
According to recent research conducted by Harris Interactive via an online survey, 73 percent of the entire STEM workforce is comprised of non-Hispanic whites, of which just 27 percent are women. Blacks and Hispanic/Latinos make up just 7 percent of the STEM workforce, despite constituting more than 28 percent of the U.S. population.

Overall, women make up nearly 50 percent of the entire U.S. workforce, but are considerably underrepresented in STEM fields. Women are in less than 40 percent of physical scientist jobs, less than 30 percent of computer and mathematical jobs and less than 15 percent of architecture and engineering jobs.

The trend is the same for Blacks and Hispanic/Latinos. Separately, neither makes up more than 10 percent of the workforce in any of the STEM fields.

It's startling to see the percentage of women, Blacks and Hispanic/Latinos in STEM jobs do not exceed either of their respective total percentages of the U.S. workforce, a problem that needs to be confronted with the help of experienced recruiting agencies.

Diversity is better for the business
Despite the lack of diversity in STEM fields of employment, the majority of survey respondents said diversity is a big benefit for the business and not a priority for covering compliance or regulations in regard to diversity hires.

Eighty-four percent said diverse hires bring new ideas and attitudes to the workplace, 76 said they present an enhanced learning opportunity and 69 percent said they increase creativity within the business.

Hiring a more varied workplace was shown to not only be good for the population of STEM workers, but also the business. That's why using technical recruiters who can assemble a highly skilled and diversified pool of job applicants for STEM jobs is the best action a company can take to improve its workforce in terms of both talent and diversity.