There’s a common opinion among the public that girls don’t like STEM fields, such as science and engineering. This is an opinion I wholeheartedly disagree with, which is why this compilation has been created. Here are five reasons why girls should be encouraged to enter STEM fields.
Girls are composing an increasing percentage of college students, but they are not represented equally in many STEM fields. Many studies have been conducted to examine the primary factors which influence girls’ decisions to enter into STEM careers. These include awareness and interest in STEM-related fields, age, ethnicity, and family environment.
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Girls should be encouraged to enter STEM fields
Girls have the same level of ability in math and science as boys. However, girls are discouraged from pursuing these fields. Although both genders may express an interest in computer science, only one-third of female students will pursue this career field. This is a major issue in the technology industry today. Not enough women are entering into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, causing a shortage of employees for these jobs.
Girls need to be encouraged at an early age to pursue the career path they desire. For this to happen, young girls must see successful women in STEM careers that they can relate to. There are not enough women role models in the STEM industry for young girls to look up to and be inspired by. For girls to have positive role models, more women need to pursue careers in STEM fields and encourage young girls to do the same. I believe that if there was more effort into recruiting young women into STEM fields there would be a higher number of girls pursuing careers in computer science and other STEM majors.
How can this be improved?
The latest research suggests that encouraging girls to enter STEM fields can help businesses fill future job needs and improve the economy. Let’s take a closer look at how this push for STEM has affected the economy and what it means for the future of business.
Women in STEM fields not only boost the economy but also keep it healthy. According to the latest report by The White House Council on Women and Girls, women make up half of all college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). Yet they still only earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by men.
According to AAUW, this pay gap is even worse for people of color — black women earn 64 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts and Hispanic women earn 56 cents.
This gender gap persists even though more women than ever are receiving higher education degrees and entering into STEM jobs. This suggests that something is holding them back from earning higher wages — whether it’s bias or discrimination.
The gender gap in STEM fields is well documented
As early as K-12, girls tend to show interest in science, technology, engineering, and math at lower levels than boys do. Girls’ self-esteem also tends to be lower when it comes to STEM fields, which may explain why fewer girls pursue these types of careers.
Some initiatives are underway to reverse this trend. The Department of Education’s Knows Your Future initiative is working with school districts and others to increase girls’ interest in STEM fields. The initiative’s efforts include programs that encourage girls to see themselves as future leaders in STEM fields, support for mentoring programs for girls interested in pursuing careers in STEM, and professional development for teachers and administrators who want to help their female students succeed.
In addition, various nonprofit organizations have launched similar initiatives aimed at increasing the number of women in STEM fields. For example, CoverGirl’s mission is to “inspire the next generation of female coders.” The organization provides a variety of resources and events designed to spark an interest in computer coding among girls and young women.
It’s important not to forget the powerful effect that encouragement can have on young girls. Computer science is still a relatively new field and those who pioneered it are only now reaching retirement age. It’s up to us to ensure that future generations don’t lose touch with this incredibly rewarding and high-paying field.
I believe that girls should be encouraged to enter STEM fields by providing a better understanding of career options. The notion that STEM jobs are in the sciences and only men can do them is wrong. There are plenty of women working in disciplines such as technology, engineering, and math. Female role models used to address this misconception can also be very helpful in encouraging girls to pursue those fields. Additionally, by providing a day in the life of a female technologist, it shows how the job is not limited to an office and traditional applications of math and science. It allows girls to see STEM professionals out in the field doing exactly what they would be doing if they choose a career in this field. This way they can visualize themselves at that job.
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