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Video: Fortune 1000 Executives: New President Must Fix Education Gap
Date:9/17/2008

em, the Fortune executives say. Almost nine-in-10 (89 percent) agree that bringing more women and minorities into STEM fields will help solve this issue. Moreover, diversity has other benefits for STEM companies, according to the executives, including increasing innovation and the ability to be more competitive in the global marketplace.

Still, underrepresentation is prevalent. Nearly all of the executives are aware of this and many recognize underrepresentation for the talent problem it is. Almost nine-in-10 Fortune 1000 STEM executives (89 percent) acknowledge it exists in their industry, with a similar number (82 percent) reporting it exists in their own companies. Of those who say it is a reality for them, 83 percent say the lack of women, African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics is a talent concern for their companies.

The Seed: Growing a Diverse American STEM Pipeline

Not surprisingly, almost all the senior executives (98 percent) say it is important for girls and minorities to receive a strong science and math education beginning in elementary school in order to reduce their underrepresentation in STEM fields, with nine-in-10 (90 percent) saying it is very important. And, say the executives, the most effective way for these students to learn science is through a hands-on, inquiry-based approach (87 percent).

However, they believe the U.S. education system is falling short here. Not one of the executives surveyed graded the U.S. an "A" when asked how good a job the U.S. pre-college system is doing in engaging and nurturing girls and minorities to pursue STEM careers. In fact, almost six-in-10 (55 percent) assigned it a failing grade of D or F.

The country's higher education system fares somewhat better for its ability to train women and minorities for STEM careers, with executives assigning it an average grade of "C+." Overall, the U.S. education system gets a "C" from executives for providing U.S. companies with div
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SOURCE Bayer Corporation
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