Women in STEM: Badassery

Originally published 12/1/17.

Today is an appropriate day to be talking about the presence of women in STEM (the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Today is the day I attend, with many other badass local professional women, the 2017 Oklahoma Women in Technology (OKWIT) Gala in Oklahoma City. (Note: I consider any female professional to be “badass.” This article is specific to STEM, though.)

STEM fields are known to be traditionally dominated by men, but things are starting to change. Women in STEM are starting to make increase their presence. This article looks at the facts, struggles, and benefits of women in STEM fields, as well as how we can all continue to foster the progress of a diverse workplace.

According to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), “Women have earned 57% of all bachelor’s degrees and about half of all science and engineering (S&E) bachelor’s degrees since the late 1990s.” Female students are obviously just as dedicated to the study of the subjects, so why do they seem so underrepresented in the career fields? Well, that same study shows that women actually do dominate a field of science. Women account for 70% of all representation in the field of psychology. Why, then, are women still the minority in science and engineering?

There are a lot of factors that contribute to choosing a career. Girls in grade school score just as high as boys, but traditional social expectations cultivate different mentalities in the genders. Boys are gifted legos, are explicitly and implicitly encouraged to enjoy science and math, and are still commonly raised to be “breadwinners.”

women in stem

Girls, however, are gifted baby dolls and are encouraged in homemaking skills.

women in stem

While society has made significant progress in redefining gender roles, some factors of a girl’s upbringing still permeate her decisions about a career. Women tend to show more interest in a work/life balance and more concern about the social impact of their occupation. Since STEM fields are still primarily led by men, such factors of employment are not prioritized by employers. Women in STEM leadership positions would be nothing but an asset.

We all know the benefits of diversity in the workforce. Innovation is catalyzed when multiple different perspectives influence the processes of creative solutions. Marketing also expands to new avenues and targeted customer bases. Work culture, in general, becomes more vibrant when diverse representation has a seat at the table.

What can we do going forward? Well, it starts with education. It’s time to rethink how we cultivate the minds of our young ones. Interest in STEM fields should always be encouraged for both young boys and young girls to pursue. Exposure to communities passionate about bridging the gender gap in STEM fields is also a great idea. (See: Igniteworldwide.org, Girlsintech.org, or Girlswhocode.com.) Maybe instead of only telling your daughter or niece, “You look pretty”, consider telling her “You’re a smart girl” every once in a while. We also need to be dedicated to bringing more women into leadership positions in STEM. It takes the mindset of an entire village of committed leadership to bring awareness and progress – and we’re on the right track. We need to continue to do our best to prepare the next generation of girls to be smart, driven, and badass STEM professionals.

For now, I’m going to celebrate with some OKWIT gals, my favorite local badasses. Women in STEM have been paramount to my personal and professional development, and I can’t thank the organization enough. Cheers!


Sources:

https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/fod-women/psy-bio-social-sci.cfm

https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/fod-women/

https://women2.com/stories/2016/11/21/the-benefits-of-engaging-girls-in-stem

15 Replies to “Women in STEM: Badassery”

  1. Attractivee part of content. I simply stumbled upon your site and iin accession capital tto claim that I get in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts.
    Any way I will bbe subscribing to your augment or even I sucfess you
    access consistently fast.

  2. Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for info about this subject for a long time and yours is the best I’ve came upon till now. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the source?|What i do not realize is actually how you are now not actually much more neatly-favored than you may be now. You are so intelligent.

  3. Thank you for some other informative site. The place else mmay I
    get that type of info wrtten iin such a perfect manner? I hwve a
    mission that I’m simply now running on, and I havee
    been on the look out for such information.

  4. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmardk your site to come back in the future.

    Cheers

  5. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Safari.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d
    post to let you know. The layout look great though!

    Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Kudos

  6. I read this piece of writing fully on the topic of
    the resemblance of hottest and preceding technologies,
    it’s awesome article.

  7. certainly like your webste but you need to test the spelling on qute a
    few of youyr posts. A number of them are rifee with spelling problems and
    I in finding iit very bothersome to tell the truth then again I will surewly
    comme again again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.