Without more women in technology and manufacturing, General Electric (GE) expects the skills gap to continually widen. As a result they’ve decided to take action to keep that from happening.

GE believes a widening skills gap will impact productivity and negatively influence the innovation potential for new technologies to transform manufacturing. The company plans to have 20,000 women to fill STEM roles at GE by 2020. The program will significantly increase the representation of women in its engineering, manufacturing, IT and product management roles. Their goal is to obtain 50:50 representation for all technical entry-level programs. ­

In a recently released white paper, GE outlines the talent crisis for women in STEM roles. Although women make up more than half (55%) of all college and graduate students,  only 14% of all engineers and 25% of all IT professionals are women. Furthermore, just 18% of computer science graduates are female.

Here are just some of the major imbalances found:

  • Among the major tech giants, women are still under-represented, making up 13-24% of the tech-related jobs, and 17-30% ascending to leadership positions.
  • Nearly 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either leave the profession or never enter the field after graduation.
  • By closing the gender gap, the GDP will increase by 10% by 2030.
  • Studies have shown that more gender diverse companies have the potential to perform 53% better than lesser ones, including a 35% increase in ROE and a 34% increase in total returns. An increase revenue by 41% is also possible.

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News, STEM