Blank argued that encouraging more women to enter STEM fields would improve economic growth.
“We haven’t done as well as we could to encourage young people to go into STEM jobs, particularly women, which inhibits American innovation,” Blank said. “Closing the gender gap in STEM degrees will boost the number of Americans in STEM jobs, and that will enhance U.S. innovation and sharpen our global competitiveness.”
Blank said the gender gap may be the result of too few female role models in STEM, gender stereotypes and less family-friendly flexibility in STEM jobs.
The report found that although women in STEM jobs earn less than their male counterparts, the wage gap is smaller than in other fields.
Women in STEM earn 14 percent less than men in STEM, which is smaller than the 21 percent gender wage gap in non-STEM jobs.
Blank speculated the smaller wage gap may be because the women who do enter the fields are more motivated and devoted than women in other professions.
Engineering is the most male-dominated STEM occupation, according to the report, but it is also has the smallest gender wage gap.