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STEM Gender Gap Narrows in China
   2016-06-06 20:14:50    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Liu Yuanhui

Kong Xinagjie from Xinjiang is a worker at Sinopec's Tahe Petrochemical Company, which is located in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Kong has been working at the company for 13 years. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

A UNESCO report from 2015 stated that only 28 percent of women globally are working in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).

At Sinopec's Tahe Petrochemical Company, located in China's northwestern Xinjiang, many women work on the production lines.

Li Pei is in her 20's, with a degree in chemical engineering from a university in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province in northwest China. She has been working for Tahe Petrochemical for three years. "In my university class, there were a total of thirty people, fourteen women and sixteen men," explained Li.

According to the US National Science Board, China has increased its number of people in STEM careers three fold since the mid-1990's. Now almost equal numbers of men and women work in these fields in China.

With this increase, female graduates are being hired in fields beyond their college majors. Kong Xiangjie has a degree in Computer Science but has worked at Sinopec for almost 13 years. During that time, she worked on the production floor but was later recruited into a chemical engineering job because of her talents.

Yin Dandan is another women from Xinjiang who has been working for Tahe Petrochemical Company for three years. She majored in Chemical Engineering and noted that her university courses had about the same number of women as men.

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