Welcome to the first instalment in our new series, Girls In STEM!
Missy recently attended the Dublin Tech Summit. Throughout the informative presentations we noticed a recurring theme. Many of the speakers were talking about women and girls becoming more and more interested in pursuing STEM subjects, and how important it is that women feel like they have the option to join these career fields.
What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Read More About STEM: Smart Features
Never Heard of STEM?
We didn’t know an awful lot about it either, and we think we know why…
For years girls and women have been told there are certain subjects and careers more suited to them. In school girls are often encouraged to pursue Home Ec. rather than the likes of Metal Work, or Technical Graphics. The latter subjects are seen as more “hands on” and “manly” so why would a girl want to pursue these?
Feeling slightly confused at to why this sexist element to our education system exists? Us too…
Interested In STEM? Go For It...
...But, there is a way to break the cycle and that’s what we here at Missy hope to help in doing by producing content that informs you, the reader, of the endless possibilities in choosing a career in STEM. We’ll be investigating each path throughout a series of articles. This first one is dedicated to seeing the gender gap that exists in STEM career paths.
So next time it’s suggested to you you should take Art over Wood Work, ask yourself “is it cos I’m a girl?” “Are they suggesting the same thing to my male peers?” It’s 2018, a woman is more than capable of using machinery (and her brain), so you do you and pick the subject you want to do, even if the class will be 90% boys.
The Gender Gap in STEM
“In the European Union (EU-28), women accounted for less than half (42.2%) of tertiary education graduates in the natural sciences, mathematics and statistics, and information and communication technologies combined in 2015.” - catalyst.org This means that men equate for 57.8% of graduates in most STEM Subjects (yikes!).
We Need More Girls In STEM!
This male domination of the STEM fields often means women are put off the idea of pursuing these careers. Often, if they do, women are more likely to leave their career in STEM. This really isn’t good enough if you ask us. We don’t think it’s right that women are feeling they should let go of their dreams of being a scientist or an engineer because men dominate the field. That’s why we’re hoping to educate and inspire young girls to pursue these STEM careers. And encourage you not worry about the fields being male-dominated.
If enough of us girls are inspired, and motivate others, we’ll soon see an equal representation of men and women in STEM. (Who knows, STEM might even be female dominated one day!). We can already see things are changing, “in 2016, women made up more than a third (40.1%) of scientists and engineers in the EU-28, an increase of more than 20% since 2007.” - catalyst.org
Keep an eye out for our next instalment focusing on Girls In STEM!