The science, technology, engineering and medical (STEM) community plays an important role in today’s society. Governments in developed and developing countries recognize the importance of increasing the STEM sphere.
In the article written by Kelly Peaton on March 2, 2016 said that “President Barack Obama has said that science and innovation are keys to the country’s economy and that offering more opportunities for Americans to gain related skills can help create jobs.” The role of men and women has changed drastically in today’s society. Women have got more freedom to express themselves, take active part in the development of STEM, despite the fact that there still exists discrimination because of lack of academic publishing, opportunity inequalities, unequal earnings and negative stereotypes. According to UIS (UNESCO INSTITUTE FOR STATISTICS) data, women make up less than 30% of the people working in science, technology, engineering and medical jobs worldwide.
“Additionally, women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000” (Huhman,). Scientists and engineers are working to solve some of the difficult challenges that we face daily. When women are not involved in science and engineering, experiences, needs, and desires that are unique to women they may be overlooked.These overlooked issues can be overcome by many ways—creating programs that will encourage women to study technology, offer more scholarships, organize workshops, open more women engineering clubs, give talks about the history of women’s success in past and present will help women to understand the importance of STEM community and empower them to jump to the field. Engaging and retaining more women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce will maximize innovation, creativity, and competitiveness.
The article written by Carolyn Conner Seepersad on Oct 17, 2016 said that “the simplest and most effective things we can do differently is something as simple as richer storytelling.” Using the power of storytelling helped her to raise the proportion of women in undergraduate engineering program from 17 percent to more than 22 percent which was double the national average (Seepersad). It can be concluded from her article that the power of storytelling gives young women a hope to do something new that they are capable of, help them to build their own perspective thinking, a network to reconnect people with whom they can share their own ideas and thoughts. Stereotypes are appearing as one of the biggest hurdles that impact the women’s participation in school and University. Women’s graduating with a Bachelor degree is less as compared to men. They have less academic success.
They are socially constrained from a young age to have domestic aspirations such as becoming wife and mother. And by chance if they show their interest or excel in these fields they will be labeled as unfeminine. Another big disparity between men and women in STEM careers is difficulty of balancing work life and private life. However, many women have proven in other fields that having family and successful career is possible. Women do face these negative stereotypes but sometimes they also encountered violence. For example, in 1989 a gunman killed 14 engineering women student in Montreal, Canada because of the fact that they all were women’s and science is not meant for them. These initiatives will support and encourage women to participate in the STEM community from a younger age and also help them to develop a broader understanding of the field and to become better engineers.
Although achieving gender equality cannot be done overnight, we as young women can dedicate ourselves to change the rules and stereotypes that inhibit us from tapping into our true potential.