“While many programs and support services exist for veterans, very few are tailored to women veterans, and there is no system in place to unify these resources in a cohesive and effective way. As a result, the needs of women veterans are often overlooked...In March 2021, Education Development Center (EDC) led a virtual convening on recruiting and retaining women veterans in the STEM workforce, particularly those from populations currently underrepresented in STEM... the event provided an opportunity to engage experts in relevant fields in identifying strategies to strengthen existing services and develop new programs to effectively engage, train, and retain women veterans in the STEM workforce.”  

Key points include:

  • Many women veterans struggle with the lack of support networks and resources available to them as they navigate their way into STEM careers. They may also face additional challenges such as finding affordable childcare and managing work-life balance. 
  • Women service members and veterans would benefit from coordination among key service providers, clear communication about services, and improved access to resources and information.  
  • Women veterans need peer mentors in STEM fields to help them navigate career pathways, professional development, and STEM higher education and workplaces.  
  • Employers don’t understand military occupational specialty codes and how military experience translates into civilian STEM occupations which causes employers to overlook the potential of women veterans. 
  • Employers can benefit from hiring women veterans in STEM by creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces that foster innovation and creativity.  

Source:  WomenVets-STEM-Recommendations.pdf (edc.org)