Welcome to New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers are some of the fastest-growing opportunities in today’s job market, as well as some of the highest-paying professions, yet women account for only 28 percent of the professionals filling those jobs, with the majority employed in the healthcare industry. According to a 2018 PEW Research Center study (Diversity in the STEM workforce varies widely across jobs), women comprise 75 percent of healthcare practitioners and technicians but only 25 percent of those employed in computer occupations (down from 32 percent in 1990), 14 percent of those in engineering and 17 percent of the life and physical scientists. Minority women representation is even worse, with black women representing only nine percent of the STEM workforce and Hispanic women seven percent. The pay gap also exists in STEM industries, with the median income for women ranging from 74 percent to 87 percent of what men employed in those professions earn.

New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering (NMNWSE) has been working to decrease that gender gap since its founding 43 years ago, through its commitment to supporting and advocating for women in technical professions and by encouraging young girls to pursue STEM education and STEM-related careers. Although change has come at a glacial pace, the number of women employed in STEM-related fields is slowly increasing.

When NMNWSE was founded, few women studied for STEM careers and female STEM faculty were virtually nonexistent. Women seldom received encouragement from their professors and were seldom awarded scholarship money. Many who entered college pursuing a STEM degree dropped out or changed their major. Those who made it into the workforce often found themselves isolated in hostile environments.

One board member recalls being the only woman to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry in a three-year period, with no female professors in the program. She was the lone technical woman when she was hired by the U.S. Air Force, describing those early years working in her field as “some pretty harsh environments.” She discovered the fledgling NMNWSE during that time and was soon inspiring young girls to enter technical fields by volunteering to teach laser workshops.

There has been significant progress in removing barriers for women over the past half-century, but women still face challenges their male colleagues do not encounter, despite the fact that the importance of having women in science and engineering fields is finally being recognized. Studies have shown that diverse research teams are more likely to come up with new ideas and perspectives and to outperform homogeneous teams. It has also been proven that scientific research is more accurate when gender is considered.

NMNWSE was founded to help remove barriers to women entering technical fields and to provide a supportive environment for women to succeed, a mission we are committed to now and into the future.

One of the most rewarding aspects of our organization is providing workshops, conferences and awards for young girls to encourage their passion for STEM and STEM careers. This focus on lifting up the next generation of scientists and engineers has been an important part of NMNWSE’s mission since shortly after its founding. Young women taking their first steps into their STEM careers have also found support and mentorship from other members.

New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering (NMNWSE) has been working to decrease that gender gap since its founding 43 years ago, through its commitment to supporting and advocating for women in technical professions and by encouraging young girls to pursue STEM education and STEM-related careers. Although change has come at a glacial pace, the number of women employed in STEM-related fields is slowly increasing.

When NMNWSE was founded, few women studied for STEM careers and female STEM faculty were virtually nonexistent. Women seldom received encouragement from their professors and were seldom awarded scholarship money. Many who entered college pursuing a STEM degree dropped out or changed their major. Those who made it into the workforce often found themselves isolated in hostile environments.

One board member recalls being the only woman to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry in a three-year period, with no female professors in the program. She was the lone technical woman when she was hired by the U.S. Air Force, describing those early years working in her field as “some pretty harsh environments.” She discovered the fledgling NMNWSE during that time and was soon inspiring young girls to enter technical fields by volunteering to teach laser workshops.

There has been significant progress in removing barriers for women over the past half-century, but women still face challenges their male colleagues do not encounter, despite the fact that the importance of having women in science and engineering fields is finally being recognized. Studies have shown that diverse research teams are more likely to come up with new ideas and perspectives and to outperform homogeneous teams. It has also been proven that scientific research is more accurate when gender is considered.

NMNWSE was founded to help remove barriers to women entering technical fields and to provide a supportive environment for women to succeed, a mission we are committed to now and into the future.

One of the most rewarding aspects of our organization is providing workshops, conferences and awards for young girls to encourage their passion for STEM and STEM careers. This focus on lifting up the next generation of scientists and engineers has been an important part of NMNWSE’s mission since shortly after its founding. Young women taking their first steps into their STEM careers have also found support and mentorship from other members.

Latest News

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“I joined and continue to belong to the Network because I believe in its mission to encourage girls to pursue STEM education and STEM-related careers.  The rewards have proven to be much more than reaching thousands of girls.  They have been the incredible women that I have met and had the opportunity to learn from and share life’s journey, both professionally and personally.”

-Jeanne Banks, NMNWSE Treasurer

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Our Sponsors

We want to thank the following sponsors for their continued support to New Mexico’s STEM conferences!

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