Our June 5th Virtual First Friday meetup , titled Five Reasons STEM Diversity Matters – takes a timely look at how the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) equity gap starts early at the elementary level and grows as students get older.  Hosted by Sheena Lofton-Huggins, of Pasco County Agents for Change , we’ll explore the impacts of this gap on the greater community and the workplace. We’ll also look at the power of people of color as creatives and learn how to bridge the divide in the creative community, as well.

If you wonder if this is really an issue, consider these statistics on Gender and Racial Disparities in STEM Education and STEM Workforce:

  • Women only comprise 14% of engineers, 25% of computer professionals, and 39% of physical science professionals. In 1990, only 12% of engineers were women.
  • Women in computer occupations have actually decreased since 1990, going from 32% to 25%.
  • According to the Harvard Business Review, women in STEM occupations are 45% more likely than men to leave the industry within one year due to allegedly hostile work environments.
  • Since 1990, the percentage of female workers in life sciences has only risen from 34% to 47%.
  • Women of color represent an even smaller minority of STEM graduates, with African-American women representing 2.9%, Latinas 3.6%, and Asian women representing 4.8%.
  • African-American and Latino workers currently represent approximately 29% of the working population, but comprise only 16% of the advanced manufacturing and 12% of the engineering workforces.
  • Men in STEM occupations are generally paid more than their female counterparts, by almost $16,000 per year.
  • Minorities are also generally paid less. Median wages for white STEM workers is $88,000 per year, compared to the median salaries of $75,000 for African-American and $77,000 for Hispanics.

Please join us Friday, June 5 at 6pm, on Google Meet,  to be part of the conversation, and learn how you can be part of the solution.

About Sheena Lofton-Huggins

Sheena Lofton-Huggins is the Founder and Executive Director of Pasco Agents for change,  a grassroots community coalition with a mission to foster institutional equity by creating educational opportunities, raising awareness and providing strategies and tools to bring to life the vision of inclusive excellence, both in our schools and in our community.

In 2018, Sheena was instrumental in developing and serving on the first ever Cultural Competency Committee for Pasco County Schools. She continues to work as an advocate for all children in advancing DEI initiatives throughout the Tampa Bay Area.


About Pasco County Agents for Change

Pasco County Agents for Change works to promote diversity and inclusion in Pasco County schools.

“Now more than ever, the success of our mission depends on the extent to which our community is diverse, inclusive, and equitable. We know that academic excellence is impossible without the unique perspectives, ideas, approaches, and contributions that come from having the broadest diversity of students, faculty, and staff across Pasco County School System.

“To become the inclusive community we aspire to be, we must treat each other equitably and with respect, creating an environment where no voices are silenced and all of us can thrive.  Together, our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity has the potential to positively disrupt and transform entrenched practices and thinking. And as a result, we will hold the Pasco County School System as a whole, accountable to a goal of graduating students who are engaged world citizens, with a discerning intelligence, an understanding of inequality and power, and moral courage.”

To Learn More about Pasco County Agents for Change 




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PCAC Recommended STEM Advocacy Organizations

Join us online Friday, June 5 at 6pm on Google Meet  to learn more and share your experiences, too!