Education in science, technology, engineering and math fields can be the road to economic empowerment for women around the world. But unfortunately, girls often face significant barriers that restrict access to STEM education. According to a United Nations study of 14 countries, the percentage of women graduating with a bachelor’s degree in a field related to science is 18 percent.
Situated in West Oakland, the nonprofit Techbridge Girls works to expose girls from low-income communities to STEM. Environmental education is one of the topics the 18-year-old organization teaches girls, and its efforts in that area recently won $100,000 as the grand prize winner of the UL Innovative Education Award.
Women see fewer advertisements about entering into science and technology professions than men do. But it’s not because companies are preferentially targeting men--rather it appears to result from the economics of ad sales. Surprisingly, when an advertiser pays for digital ads, including postings for jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), it is more expensive to get female views than male ones.
There is an emergence of educational organizations that are addressing this problem by reaching girls from a very young age. Platforms like Girls Who Code, Girls Learning Code, and Kode With Klossy offer girls in K-12 the opportunity to learn how to code while receiving mentorship from female leaders in technology. These programs have already reached hundreds of thousands of girls in North America alone.
Women face an uphill battle in biomedical science, on many fronts. There is bias in hiring and in how other scientists view their research. Fewer women are chosen to review scientific papers. Men still outnumber women at the ivory tower’s highest floors, and of course, women in science face harassment based on their gender. But once the top of the hill is in sight -- once a female scientist gets a coveted major research grant -- the playing field levels out, a new study shows.
Once female scientists receive a major research project grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), their funding futures are quite similar to those of their male peers, a new study reports. That suggests gender represents a small, and shrinking, barrier to success in a biomedical science career, the authors argue, and it emphasizes the importance of encouraging women to apply for grants in the first place.
Without women to pave the way for other women, the cybersecurity industry will continue to suffer from a limited talent pool. Women are less likely to have role models and mentors in STEM-related fields who embody the career opportunities available to them, and who can also show them how to realize those opportunities.
As there has been a concerted effort to attract and retain women in STEM fields, a new survey from the Exelon Foundation has some disappointing results. It showed that only 50% of the next generation of women remain optimistic about the future of women in science, technology, engineering and math.
The US Girl Scouts campaign to promote STEM education is advancing to its next logical step: even more badges. The organization is introducing 30 new badges that promise to foster scientific and computer know-how across the Scouts' age groups.
Girls currently make up over half of the United States’ gifted student population. If girls have the smarts needed for success in STEM, then what factors explain why they don’t pursue education and careers in these fields? There are two types of beliefs that discourage girls from pursuing STEM at an early age...