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A third of the world’s researchers are women. However, women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics or STEM fields have been leading research into the COVID-19 virus, creating trackers and developing vaccines. Women also make up 70% of the world’s healthcare workers and first responders. That’s according to Dr. Bilita Mattes, the Chief Academic Officer at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

Women were underrepresented in STEM careers to begin with but Dr. Mattes says gains made by women may have been lost during the pandemic due to structural inequalities and barriers faced by women.

Mattes appeared on Smart Talk to discuss how the pandemic impacted women in STEM careers in particular.  Listen to the broadcast here:

As the executive director of STEM-UP, Mattes has been at the forefront of addressing the issue.  The STEM-UP Network is a social enterprise, powered by Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, that provides real-world strategies and relationships to women in STEM that support their ability to flourish, prosper, and advance personally and professionally.

Learn more about STEM-UP at 


Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private nonprofit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields to a diverse student body. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email,

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