Chelsea Clinton (yes, daughter of Slick WIllie) wrote a fascinating piece on STEM in the Huffington Post. She not only recognizes that others have not been able to have the resources that she grew up with, but she makes a fiscal argument for diversity in the workplace.
If women matched men's employment rates in America, GDP would rise by 5 percent, according to Booz & Company. With the U.S. Department of Commerce expecting STEM jobs to grow 17 percent between 2008 to 2018 -- compared to just 9.8 percent for non-STEM jobs -- excluding women from the pipeline hurts American companies in search of the best high-tech talent. Economic expansion hinges on both halves of the workforce receiving the tools needed to drive innovation..
This is a point that is often missing from discussions of diversity, and not just limited to the sciences . Diversity is not just a "feel good" thing, It has realistic implications and serves as the only way for our country to keep up with the rest of the world. Every year that the US finishes near the bottom of the country lists for math and science, I think about stats such as this.