Generation STEM & Women in Technology
** This post originally appeared on Anthony Davis's blog.
STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) careers pay more on average than other careers yet even with unemployment what it is we are not producing enough graduates in the United States to fill all of the available STEM jobs in the US.
Nearly 48% of our workforce is women, yet in STEM careers that number is significantly lower. Over half of our graduates (57% of bachelors and 60% of master’s degrees) are women yet only 20% of degrees in engineering, computer science, and physics; and only about 25% of STEM jobs are held by a woman.
I’m sorry, but this totally baffles me and as a father of two daughters it also bothers me on a deeply personal level.
Interestingly enough apparently the Girl Scouts of America have also been wondering about it and they published an incredible report called “Generation STEM”. As I was reading it two things kept standing out to me - first, girls are not encouraged by their parents/role models to enter STEM careers as much as boys are, and second, when women hear false statements like "men do better at math or science and women are better at arts," all of the sudden they believe these things and actually put less efforts into Math or Science.
These are so damaging to women and our children.... and it's our fault! Luckily it's also something all of us with children can easily change. Encourage your daughters to work hard at all of their academics and if they show interest in mathematics and engineering encourage them to pursue it!
Do you have any other ideas on how we can encourage children to enter into the STEM fields? If you have had girls that were interested in the STEM fields, were their experiences positive or negative?