"Great for role playing space exploration missions," Lego said in a press release announcing the set on Wednesday (Oct. 18). "Explore the professions of some of the groundbreaking women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with the Lego Ideas Women of NASA set." [Gallery: First Photos of Lego’s "Women of NASA" Set]
The survey findings indicate a clear opportunity to engage women to enter the field of technology at an earlier age, potentially making a significant impact on the widespread gender disparity in IT careers today. In fact, 69% of all respondents, which included 658 women and men, believe the key to getting more women in tech is encouraging females to pursue technology in high school or college.
Men’s interest in technology is piqued much earlier than women’s, as even in elementary or middle school just over twice as many males than females report their interest started there (20% vs. 9%). Further, men are more likely than women to have entered IT through a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) track in college, 59% vs. 44%.
By 2020, STEM jobs in the United States are expected to increase by 10% (Lockard & Wolf, 2012); however, with some sectors reporting nearly 600,000 unfilled engineering jobs (BLS, 2015), declining numbers of engineering graduates cause alarm.
On December 1, 2016, my sister Taylore and I had the honor of attending the 3rd Annual MIE (Minorities in Energy Forum as STEM Ambassadors and Cyberjournalists representing my local HUD STEM Innovation Network in Hampton and the Global NetGeneration of Youth Community founded by Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein.
On Friday January 13, 2017, as ASTRA's Futurist, I traveled to NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to join Shades of Blue Founder and CEO, Captain Willie Daniels, and a Shades of Blue Chapter Board Member from DCMD, Mr. Marvin Richardson, to honor the STEM Education Legacy of the 12th NASA Administrator and former Astronaut (ret), Major-General Charles F. Bolden, with A Shades of Blue Community Outreach Award and a Shades of Blue Astronaut Reunion Commemorative Patch. It was a wonderful gathering of leaders who each possesses a deep commitment to cultivating America’s Innovation Capacity on Earth and in Space.
As a recently appointed Ambassador to the Minorities of Energy initiative, I was delighted to be invited by the Director of The Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, Dr. LaDoris Harris, to attend an official launch of Girls of Energy on December 9th 2016 at Excel Academy, the first all-girls charter school in Washington DC. This e-learning initiative has been designed to ignite curiosity and engage young minds across the globe by spotlighting exceptional women who are conquering today’s energy challenges and creating tomorrow’s technology solutions.
I was delighted to be invited by Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein to serve as a Global NetGeneration of Youth Cyberjournalist and attend an annual TC Williams High School “Noche de Ciencias,” more commonly known as “Night of Science.” Upon entering the Alexandria, Virginia High School, I was immediately welcomed by students, who then ushered me to the dining area where a variety of booths circled the inside of the room.
Techbridge is engineering a revolution for girls to change the world through science, technology, and engineering. Watch Aileen’s inspiring story.
ASTRA's Executive Director, Dr. Robert Boege and Senior Advisor & Futurist Dr. Ronnie Lowenstein were invited to join 100 other STEM Trailblazers for a dynamic day-long Round Table and Policy Forum to address issues of attracting, retaining, and advancing women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) on March 29th.