Written By Asha KB
In early American history, society believed that women did not have a place in education and high-level learning. They were told not to bother their brains with such advanced thinking. Middle and upper-class women learned to read and write, but their education ended there. However, women desired higher education. Elizabeth Blackwell is a prime example of women’s fight for a medical degree, one of the first STEM environments available to women.
In recent years thousands of women have pursued careers in STEM fields. Education in these disciplines often leads to competitive salaries and ample job opportunities. However, women in STEM often face a challenging set of circumstances that can affect their educational journey and career path. Although women make up more than half of the college-educated workforce only 28% of the STEM workforce is women.
For instance, in the United States women make up only 1/4th of the entire STEM workforce contrarily, women dominated men when it comes to STEM degrees. Further statistics show that women constitute 15% of the engineering force and 25% of the computer and mathematical science. ln Australia, women made upon 27% of the STEM workforce in 2016.
There are a lot of reasons for such a modest constitution of women in STEM. The prime reason is the lack of practical experience. Women have been quoted saying that they love STEM activities. But lack of practical experience discourages them to build a career in the field.
Yes, it is a fact and many statistics talk about how women are still treated secondary in many countries. There needs to be a balance and all women should get equal opportunity. This can be achieved only when they are educated. So there is a special emphasis on STEM for girls.
Top 5 reasons to have STEM for girls:-
- To do away with stereotyping women are equally capable as men. They are strong intellectually.
- They can get jobs that are paid high if they master the concepts in the STEM way. They need to stay behind anymore.
- Women must shine in all fields and be role models for the upcoming generation.
- They can feel empowered to be at par with their men counterparts.
Across the country, many educators are struggling hard to implement this STEM movement for girls and I would like to contribute a small bit to the ocean. Hence started this site with all fun experiments for girls to teach science.
Slowly yet steadily the gender representation of the STEM curriculum is changing. The emergence of modern ages and contemporary mentalities are slowly bridging the gap between the male and female STEM workforce. Statistics from numerous sources have recorded an increasing number of women choosing to study STEM graduates just in US; there were over 200,000 STEM graduates in 2016.
These numbers are undoubtedly voracious. And the number of women choosing to opt for the STEM curriculum is constantly increasing. Regardless, there still exists a large gender gap this is because the number of men choosing STEM subjects is growing as well moreover the growth percentages of men are also depreciating the percentage of women on annual basis. The workforce of women joining the STEM fields has dropped to a mere 24% of the total workforce.
The Need for Women in STEM:-
The aforementioned statistics should be abundant for you to understand the need for women in STEM fields. However, why is it so? Aren’t men enough to shape our future with the power of STEM?
The short answer is, no men aren’t enough. Multiple reasons support the involvement of women in STEM fields here are few of them:
- An ever-expanding field of opportunities. The involvement of girls within the STEM curriculum prepares them for understanding and tackling all such concepts.
- No major problem in the history of mankind has ever been solved by the mere involvement of a single person. STEM workforces actively participate in solving major problems of earth.
- From the economic point of view, the involvement of women in STEM workforce is a win-win situation
The first problem that female participants in the STEM-related career face today is the lack of support. Women in STEM presents an in depth yet accessible profile of eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers including stereotypes, gender bias, and the environment of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities that continue to block women’s progress in STEM.
Secondly, women in the STEM field can improve economic aspects within the country and the business industry as the world transitions to an increasingly digital economic closing the global gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is crucial to empowering women economically and addressing the shortage of qualified individuals needed to meet the growing demand of technology jobs.
In conclusion as stated earlier the solution to gender discrimination in STEM fields should be more concentrated on how to get these women to finish their degree and pursue the STEM based jobs. The involvement of women in STEM field is critical to the continuing competitiveness and sustainable progress of the economy more than millions of jobs in fields of STEM will need to be fulfilled by the year of 2022.
Featured Image Courtesy – Industry Europe