Population Goals

The Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective (PSEC) seeks to impact systemic changes to STEM equity in Philadelphia.  Approaches to solving such a complex problem are often seen as a binary choice: universal responses that help all groups, or targeted solutions that are directed to only a specific population. This either/or scenario is an overly simplistic view that can be divisive, exclusive of the community’s needs, and detract from the overarching goal.


PSEC is adopting a fresh approach, known as targeted universalism, to increase the number of Black, Latinx and female Philadelphians going into STEM careers by 2030. Targeted universalism employs processes that are sensitive to the structural and cultural dynamics of the community and support inclusive policies to achieve universal goals. PSEC has gathered the data to study the population-at-large and identify the communities where STEM inequity is most prevalent. By seeking to understand the factors the lead to these inequities, targeted solutions can be implemented to address the community’s needs and achieve our goal(s). 

objective

To study the current number of Black, Latinx, and female Philadelphians in STEM labor force in comparison to other selected demographic groups.

Data & Methodology

Population demographics: 

  • 2015 – 2019, ACS 1-Year Estimates Detailed Tables, Sex by Age by Employment Status for the population 16 years and over: C23001 - women, C23002D – Asian alone, C23002B – Black or African American alone, C23002I – Hispanic or Latino, C23002H – White alone, not Hispanic or Latino

  • Geo: Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

  • Universe: Age of 16 years and over, employed, unemployed, and not in labor force

 

STEM demographics: 

  • 2015 – 2019, ACS 1-Year Estimates Detailed Tables, Sex by Occupation for the Civilian Employed Population 16 years and over: B24010 - women, B24010D – Asian alone, B24010B – Black or African American alone, B24010I – Hispanic or Latino, B24010H – White alone, not Hispanic or Latino

  • Geo: Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

  • Universe: Age of 16 years and over, employed in Computer, Engineering, and Science occupations

 

Hypothesis: if equity, access and inclusion are present, then the percent of STEM labor force is the same as the percent of the working population for any given demographic group

  • % STEM labor force and % working population are plotted as bar graphs to show the differences, and an Equity index is calculated for each demographic group and plotted in a line chart to illustrate the stated hypothesis

  • The Multi-years Index graph is used to monitor progress of STEM equity and diversity over time

Findings

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It appears that there is inequity in STEM for Black, Latinx, and women Philadelphians, and the multi-year data shows that this inequity has not changed much since 2015. Particularly, although Black and Latinx Philadelphians combined accounts for more than 50 % of the Philadelphia working population, they total less than 25 % of the STEM labor force. Similarly, women make up approximately 54 % of the working population, but they hold roughly 34 % of STEM labor force.