According to STEM Gals, only 10% of high school girls show an interest in STEM (pretty rough number huh)? Well the good news is by 2020 more than 80% of future jobs will require a STEM education of some sort. Not to mention by the looks of it, the dolla dolla bills are there for us too! The question is now.....how can we get young ladies more engaged in pursuing STEM careers?
Here are 3 Ways I believe can help encourage young women to pursue STEM careers.
1. Representation Matters
Many young women long for someone to aspire to be like. I too was that little girl admiring the likes of Mae Jemison but, she wasn't the only STEM sista out there making strides. People can only love and admire your contributions when you put yourself out there! No need to hesitate in tooting your own horn here and there. Whether it's through television, social media, or books (Check out Billye B's Bella dear the Engineer) little girls need to see you sis!
2. Support Community Endeavors
Often times communities hold special events like science expos, creative labs, and STEM festivals. There are so many entrepreneurs out here spreading the word about the amazing world of STEM (hint,hint). Show some love to your local ladies in STEM by attending their events, collaborating, following them on social media, and purchasing their products/services. It truly takes a village. Stay abrupt with what events are happening near you so you can bring a little sista to experience the STEM atmosphere.
3. Make expectations clear
There are so many stereotypes associated with being a working woman in STEM (it's hard out here for a sista). It is important to inform young ladies that are interested in the fields that there is a certain level of expectation required. The uptake of certain courses in high school and college are important to set the tone for future careers. Encouragement to enroll in physics, chemistry, science, and engineering related classes will equip young women to prepare work in STEM environments.
Since women in STEM careers are sadly VERY few in numbers, young girls can recognize their potential with skills they already have with your help! Provide real life examples of what makes a good engineer, scientist, techpreneur, and mathematician. I guarantee they’ll thank you later… or even thank you now as Drake once said.
There's always work that can be done to improve, but so far I think we are on the right track. Let's keep it up!
What are your 2 cents on how we can keep our younger sistas engaged and inspired?
FOUNDER AND EDITOR
Hi My name is Kara and Welcome to Ladies Love STEM! I'm full-time gradute student and #STEMsis. When I'm not in the lab, I'm usually enjoying beautiful HotLanta. Here at SiS, Our goal is to provide women of color a space to motivate, encourage, and celebrate one another in STEM.