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Economy, jobs, identify theft, and credit, key concerns for STEM students

(La Plata, MD) revised Oct. 13, 2014 - Parker Financial, LLC, an independent fee only registered investment adviser in the state of Maryland announces that Personal Finance Expert for Women, Christine Parker, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (tm) addressed the 2014-2015 College of Southern Maryland (CSM) STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Scholars on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014 at the La Plata Campus in La Plata, Maryland.

Parker was invited to address the diverse class of CSM STEM Scholars about the economy and personal finance topics relevant to young adults. The STEM students were most concerned about the following five key economic and personal finance issues, including:

  • annual tuition inflation, rising faster than general inflation
  • access to STEM scholarships and student loans
  • job opportunities in chosen STEM fields, unemployment rates
  • protecting against identify theft and credit card fraud
  • building good credit scores and histories 

In 2011, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women agreed to promote “access and participation of women and girls in education, training and science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work” because, according to the commission's 2014 issues paper, “gender stereotypes, cultural barriers and low quality of education continue to affect young women’s and girls’ career choices and opportunities. These factors are even more prominent in STEM fields and have resulted in their low participation in STEM education at all levels.”

In the United States, there are gender wage and employment gaps in STEM occupations.  Science and engineering female graduates earn just 83 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender pay gap of 17 cents and women make up only 26 percent of the STEM workforce, according to Liana Christin Landivar, 2013, "Disparities in STEM Employment by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin," American Community Survey Reports, ACS-24, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC.  

The data suggests that having "faith in the system" is not helping women in STEM fields.  This phrase refers to a response that Mr. Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft gave, during a celebration for women in computing on Thursday, Oct. 9., saying, "It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.”     Mr. Natella later apologized to his employees in an email for his response, saying in part, "I believe men and women should receive equal pay for equal work." 

Gender pay discrepancies negatively affect a woman and her family, resulting in lower earned income and wealth accumulation during her work life, and lower social security benefits and savings for her retirement.  The gender pay and employment gap in STEM fields prevent women, as well as society from realizing their full economic potential.

About CSM STEM Scholarships:

Entering high school graduates or current CSM students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM,) who meet the eligibility guidelines may apply for the CSM STEM scholarship in the amount of $5,000 per year for two years which is funded by National Science Foundation Scholarship Program.  The students will also receive mentoring from field specialist.

For more information about the College of Southern Maryland Women & Math and CSM Stem Scholars programs, please contact Sandy Poinsett, Professor, Division of Math, Physics, and Engineering 301-934-7808 sandrap@csmd.edu

About Christine Parker:

Christine Parker is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) practitioner and president of Parker Financial, LLC, a leading provider of personalized retirement planning and investment advisory services, specializing in helping women executives and business owners plan well to live well at every major milestone.  Christine has been named as one of the greater Washington D.C. metro area’s ‘Top Financial Planners’ by Washingtonian magazine.  9300 Endowment Place, La Plata, Maryland 20646 | www.pfadvisers.com

For more information, please contact Christine Parker, CFP(r) 866-681-PLAN (7526) cparker@pfadvisers.com