It’s no secret that there is a huge gender gap between men and women in the STEM fields. According to the National Science Association, 72% of science and engineering professionals are male, while only 28% are female. There is a myriad of reasons for this gap from harmful stereotypes to the lack of female role models.
While many important organizations like Girls Who Code, Operation SMART, and Girlsmart host conferences and camps in the hopes of maintaining interest in scientific and technological fields, many young girls are still growing up believing that they are not smart enough to work in the STEM fields.
According to the American Association for University Women, there are several vital steps that should be taken in order to encourage girls of all ages to actively pursue their passion for the STEM fields. To combat the harmful stereotypes (i.e. “girls can’t do math”), teach the young girls in your life about brilliant female scientists and mathematicians. More importantly, take proactive steps with girls who show a talent or passion for STEM. These steps can include highlighting and praising their career-worthy skills, spreading the word about their intellectual achievements, and showing them the vast variety of careers in the STEM fields.
Just a few examples of these careers include:
Forbes states that in order to fully close the gender gap between men and women in the STEM field, there must be an open conversation about the benefits and importance of these jobs.
As the world continues to make huge advances in STEM, more and more jobs are being created for professionals that can maintain and improve the technologies that have become so ingrained in daily life. This means that it is essential to ensure that the next generation of girls is ready and willing to learn the field and use it to change the world.