Women in Aerospace: Encouraging the Pursuit of STEM Careers

May 20, 2024

The frontier of space exploration is in the midst of a transformation, actively reshaping its policies and strategies to narrow the gender gap and inspire more women to pursue careers in STEM, particularly within the dynamic realm of aerospace. Historically, women have been significantly underrepresented in STEM fields, a trend highlighted by Forbes which reported that women constitute only 28% of the STEM workforce in the United States. This disparity is particularly stark in the aerospace sector. Nevertheless, the industry is undergoing a pivotal shift and there is a growing acknowledgment of the need for a more inclusive environment that nurtures the talents and contributions of women. 

Addressing the Gender Gap in Space 

The aerospace industry is addressing the unconscious biases that may have discouraged women from pursuing careers in aerospace and aviation. Initiatives include diversity training programs to educate employers in inclusive hiring processes and workplace protocols. Mentorship opportunities are also being developed to help connect aspiring female astronauts, engineers, and scientists with established professionals in the field, providing valuable guidance and insight into success in the industry. 

Introducing STEM education early to our youth is also crucial to sparking a lifelong interest and passion in this diverse field. Space agencies and private companies are collaborating with educational institutions to develop engaging programs that introduce young women to the wonders of aerospace. This can involve interactive workshops, summer camps with a space theme, and outreach programs that highlight the diverse career paths available. 

Championing women in leadership is a way in which the aerospace industry is recognizing talented women in the workforce. Organizations are actively promoting talented women into senior roles, demonstrating their commitment to gender equality. With this comes a need to address work-life balance as well. Companies are increasingly recognizing this challenge and are implementing flexible work arrangements, childcare support options, and leave policies that can assist parents in the field.  

The Future of the Space Industry for Women 

These changes are encouraging, but there are still further improvements needed. Through focused efforts, a vision for a more inclusive future is attainable. Efforts such as mentorship and sponsorship programs where women actively advocate for the advancement of mentees within an organization; highlighting the many different applications and roles within the field of aerospace to be explored; and combating stereotypes by promoting the many successes of women in aerospace careers to inspire current and future generations. 

By implementing these initiatives, the space industry can unlock the full potential of its workforce. When women are empowered to pursue careers in aerospace, it leads to a richer pool of talent, a broader range of perspectives, and, ultimately, more incredible innovation that will propel humanity further into the cosmos. 

Explore an Education in Aerospace 

Are you passionate about space exploration? Capitol Technology University offers comprehensive degree programs in aviation and astronautical sciences, as well as partnerships and collaborations with leading organizations such as NASA, U.S. Space Command, Royal Aeronautical Society, MD Space Grant Consortium, and more. Our Center for Women in Cyber is also open to new Capitol student members who want to learn more about STEM through networking and seminars. For more information, attend a virtual open house or contact our Admissions today!