NASA Gives $5M to 7 Women’s Colleges to Tackle Gender Gap in STEM

The funding will create programs to increase retention for women in STEM degrees and careers.
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Updated on June 14, 2023
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  • Women make up only 27% of all STEM workers and are paid 26% less, on average, than men in STEM.
  • The grant is in response to White House Executive Order 14035 to address the STEM career gender gap.
  • The award goes to seven women's colleges and universities nationwide.

Seven women's colleges and universities are getting a boost from NASA to help women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

NASA is awarding more than $5 million to these institutions to research and develop strategies to increase retention of women in STEM programs and careers.

The grant is a response to White House Executive Order 14035 to address the national higher education and career gender gap and the experiences of women in STEM. In 2019, women made up 27% of all STEM workers in the U.S. and, on average, are paid 26% less than men in STEM, according to a previous BestColleges report.

"This is a very exciting first; we're making strides to close the pervasive gender gap in STEM, and Women's Colleges and Universities are well-positioned to help drive that positive change," Pam Melroy, NASA deputy administrator and Wellesley College graduate, said in a press release.

"It's more important than ever we have brilliant, enthusiastic people entering the workforce and ready to take on the ambitious plans and challenges ahead."

The Institutions and Their Proposed Projects for Women in STEM

Agnes Scott College

Decatur, Georgia

Alumnae Network & Career Resources Program — STEM Support Anchored at Agnes Scott College

Alverno College


Alverno College "Launching the Future": An Intersectional Approach to Boosting Recruitment and Retention of Women in STEM Undergraduate Education

Cedar Crest College

Allentown, Pennsylvania

TOWERS — Tackling Obstacles for Women's Engagement & Retention in STEM at Cedar Crest College

College of Saint Mary

Omaha, Nebraska

Project BLOOM for Women in STEM — Bolstering Learning, Opportunities, Outreach, and Mindfulness

Salem Academy and College

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Soar With Salem: A Comprehensive Program to Inspire Women and Girls to Become the Next Generation of STEM Professionals

Simmons University


DREAM-WSTEM (Dynamic Research Education Academy for Mentoring Women in STEM)

Smith College

Northampton, Massachusetts

Developing a Pathway to MaRS (Math Resilient Students) in STEM: A Cascading Mentorship Model