How has the experience of women and people of color working in science technology, engineering, and math changed since the 1960s?

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There are now more women and people of color working in science and technology fields than there were during the 1960s. Affirmative action programs encourage employers to hire more minorities and women.

In addition to improved hiring practices, there are larger minority applicant pools due to more people attending universities to study these fields. Many universities offer scholarships for women and minorities, and there are many departmental scholarships for minority groups who wish to study scientific fields. There are also grant programs for those who wish to pursue postgraduate work in science and engineering. This postgraduate work is often necessary if one wishes to have a prestigious job in an organization such as NASA.

In recent years, there has been more attention given to salary discrepancies between men and women in large firms. Women continue to push for equal pay for equal work in laboratories.

While the status of women and minorities has improved, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Many minorities do not have equal access to good public education as people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. It is difficult for a student who lacks a strong academic background to excel in college, as math and science classes build upon knowledge one should have acquired in high school.

There is also discrimination at the individual level, as racism and sexism still exists on a personal level for many minorities and women. While conditions have improved considerably, there are still gains to be made for underrepresented groups in science and math.

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