“What do we picture when we think of an engineer?” asks Karina Popovich ’23. Karina is working with her peers to redefine preexisting notions about who belongs in STEM fields and transform the faces of tech and science to include more women.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of women in the science, technology, engineering and math workforce has increased significantly over the past 50 years—up from 8% in 1970 to 27% in 2019. Yet, women remain underrepresented in the computer science and engineering workforce, two of the most lucrative STEM fields. National Science Foundation data from 2019 indicates that only 19% of computer science majors and 15% of engineering majors are women.
Bucking the national trend, Cornell Engineering’s Class of 2021 is the first in the history of the college to enroll more women than men. Karina, a sophomore in the Dyson School, is working with female students across Cornell and at universities around the country to empower more young women to imagine themselves as engineers and pursue STEM degrees and careers.