Support Female Students Ignored in Crucial Fields

1-27-14 students working STEM

Target: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Goal: Support female and African American students in their efforts to enter white male-dominated fields of study

In 2013, zero female students took the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in computer science in the states of Mississippi and Montana. Across the other 47 states in which the test was administered, females made up less than 20% of test takers. Additionally, not one African American student took the test in 11 states, and African Americans only made up 3% of all students who took the test. Clearly, these groups of students are not receiving the educational support they deserve, especially when it comes to the STEM studies (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Sign this petition to support better educational guidance for females and African American students across the nation

The AP course in computer science, for example, has students create and design computer programs, providing a hands-on experience that can spark interest and growth in this field. If young female and African American students are not encouraged and given these opportunities, these groups become severely underrepresented in the professional field, as they are now. Currently, women hold only 25% of the jobs in STEM fields and growth in these percentages has plateaued since 1990. African Americans hold just 6% of the jobs in these fields.

Increasing women and African American representation in the professional world begins with things like AP classes. If they are not provided with that guidance, these groups continue to be underrepresented in the field and at even higher levels—women led just 3% of companies that went public over the past 17 years. Sign this petition to significantly increase exposure and interest in the STEM fields during educational years for female and African American students.


Dear Secretary Duncan,

I recently read some of the statistics concerning female and African American representation in Advance Placement test takers across the nation. Less than 20% of the test takers were female, and only 3% were African American. These numbers are appallingly low and clearly need to be changed.

Since these groups are not receiving proper exposure during their educations, they do not continue on to the STEM fields, contributing to a severe lack of female and African American employees in these professions. Only 25% of the jobs in today’s STEM fields are held by women, and just 6% are held by African Americans. This is an incredible lack of representation and it begins with school education.

Please help push for equality in the work force and implement better programs to guide and teach students so as to help them achieve better opportunities in their lives.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hoodr via Wikimedia

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74 Signatures

  • Alice Rim
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