The hard sciences, otherwise known as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), have long been devoid of significant female representation. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in most science and engineering fields make up only a fraction of the workforce. In 2018, womenaccounted for 15.9 percent of architecture and engineering occupations, with a representation of only 10.9 percent among material engineers. Across the board, from chemists to mathematicians, similar trends are found. When it comes to leadership positions, women are also in the minority, with 26.9 percent of chief executives, across all fields, identifying as women in 2018.
Locally, the photonics/optics field has seen a few women in its ranks, notably Boulder, Colo.-based Double Helix Optics, which is led by co-founder and CEO Leslie Kimerling and took the top prize among companies in the first Luminate NY accelerator competition last year.
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