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STUDY | Women and STEM: Harnessing the Great Reevaluation

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

New MetLife survey offers insights for top tech leaders to attract women into STEM

After more than 18 months of experiencing impacts on their careers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many women are now planning a return to the workforce, according to a new MetLife survey. Although nearly half of women (48%) said the pandemic has negatively impacted their careers, almost two in three (63%) who left the workforce during this period say they are ready to return. Eight in 10 of those are considering careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), reflecting a shift in the paradigm from the “Great Resignation” to the “Great Reevaluation.”

“We’ve reached a critical inflection point in the workplace where women are evaluating their careers in a new light,” said Bill Pappas, executive vice president and head of Global Technology and Operations at MetLife. “It’s more important than ever that organizations – particularly those in STEM – offer the solutions that help women succeed. MetLife has a longstanding commitment of doing just that, promoting gender equity through programs like technical internships, trainings, and peer-to-peer mentoring – all of which aim to equip women in the workforce with the skills they need in demand areas.”

Employer Opportunities and Responsibilities Employer-offered benefits and programs play a critical role in ensuring that women succeed and feel supported, particularly related to the retention of women in STEM fields.

The MetLife survey shows women interested in STEM identify several factors that would encourage them to pursue a career in those fields:

  • More diversity, equity, and inclusion in the leadership pipeline (38%).

  • Benefits that better fit their needs (33%).

  • More flexibility in work arrangements (31%).

  • Dedicated trainings that help their career progression (30%).

  • Paid internships or apprenticeships (29%).

  • Employee resource groups (28%).

“We need to ensure that women are inspired and empowered to grow their career by addressing what companies can do to support women at this pivotal moment,” said Susan Podlogar, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at MetLife. “With so many women considering a STEM career and one in three saying they don’t know where to start, employers have both a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to help them forge a path forward.”

Research Methodology MetLife’s 2021 Women in STEM Study was conducted in September 2021. The study was fielded by Rainmakers CSI. The survey consists of a representative sample of 2,000 interviews with people in the US workforce, ages 18 to 65, and boosted to achieve n=200 female STEM workers and n=200 male STEM workers. Please note: the US workforce includes full-time employees, part-time employees, gig workers, and those unemployed but seeking work. A representative subset of 147 students were also included.


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