Girls In Stem
The World Economic Forum recently published its Global Gender Gap Report 2017 and the data is not encouraging. Over the course
Most of our society is built around technology; which is changing all the time as electric cars, smart meters and smart home appliances come into play. Only 15% of the scientists behind these technologies were female, which has undoubtedly led to a bias.
While the wider societal challenges of gender stereotyping will take some time to change, parents can start the process in the home - and there are many resources to help introduce girls to STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) topics and support their interest.
As this fantastic overview of the issue points out, gendered advertising developed in a fully-fledged narrative in which computing was the reserve of boys. Tech-focused films in the 1980s regularly featured a gifted, male, techy protagonist who would use his abilities to win the affections of a girl.
Greater gender balance in these areas can only be achieved if we first increase the number of young women who actually see themselves pursuing STEM into further education. But that is just the beginning. As young women begin STEM studies and careers we have a responsibility to provide mentoring, encouragement, training and support that helps them continue.
Photo credit: WAGGGS One of the challenges when running a global organisation that counts 10 million girls and young women
We are simply not doing enough to show young people the many inspiring men and women who are right now working on projects to provide the world with cleaner energy sources, to give us healthier foods, to cure cancer, to provide those without shelter with smart homes and so much more.
Happy Ada Lovelace Day everyone! Today is a day to celebrate the incredible achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) who've come before us. It's also a day to look to the future.
Girls today may be the first generation able to end the hugely uneven mix of boys and girls going into STEM-related careers. All sorts of factors are now in place to allow girls to follow the passions that suit them, not just those that fit with gender stereotypes. However, to really achieve this, we need adults (parents in particular) to avoid sending out the message that some activities and careers are 'not for girls' or 'not for boys'.
From building oil rigs to working on biomechanical implant materials, engineering is a varied, innovative and inspirational global profession that is always evolving. Encouraging girls to actively consider a STEM career is crucial if our prospective designers, engineers, technologists and innovators are to have access to the full range of skills and talents needed to take on the challenges and opportunities of future generations.