This week, Bayer released "Facts of Science Education XII," a survey of top executives in the U.S., conducted by International Communications Research. This year's survey focused on diversity and the need to recruit more students, particularly minority and female students, for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Stay tuned to PharmaManufacturing.com for Paul Thomas' update on the report, and an interview with M.D., chemical engineer and former astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison, a product of the Chicago public school system and now CEO of a Houston-based medical device manufacturer. He also interviews Sarah Toulouse, who oversees Bayer's "Making Science Make Sense" program. (Until that article appears, here's local newspaper coverage) But here is a sneak peak at some preliminary findings (which suggest that many corporate executives are only paying "lip service" to the idea of investing in tomorrow's STEM workforce):
- Executives surveyed give an average grade of C to the U.S. education system for preparing graduates with the skills they need to succeed in STEM careers.
- They assign an average grade of C+ to the U.S. higher education system for how well it trains women and minorities for STEM careers, but C- to the U.S. pre-college education system.
- 83% agree that STEM companies have a role to play in ensuring that women and minorities succeed in science and engineering fields. Over 90% believe that STEM companies must support pre-college science education programs. However, just over one third are actually supporting such programs.