‘Diversity drives innovation – when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve’
Research shows girls are still under-represented in STEM careers. Stereotypes and limiting attitudes can impact girls’ participation in science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) at school. If women are going to achieve equal representation in science careers educators need to help girls achieve their STEM dreams. Inspire girls to feel confident about STEM and to take advantage of the increasing number of STEM jobs in the workforce.
Selecting STEM subjects
The advantages of having more women in STEM roles are vast and learning about STEM career options when girls are in school gives them the opportunity to talk with teachers, family, and friends about choosing STEM subjects. Parents play an invaluable part in providing support for girls by encouraging and engaging them in STEM experiences and participating in their subject choices. This way girls are fully supported by educators and family when selecting subjects with a STEM career in mind.
Programs like The Indigenous Girls’ STEM Academy also supports girls who aspire to have a career in STEM. The program combines STEM extension activities and individualised support for participants while fostering a generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women into STEM careers.
Role models in STEM
The benefits of role models, supportive peers and positive attitudes towards STEM education are important for encouraging girls. Let’s show girls that women can be engineers too!
Marissa Mayer is an American software engineer who was the first female engineer to join Google and went on to be the CEO of Yahoo. She was one of the first 20 employees at Google where her contributions include the design of the Google homepage, Gmail, Chrome, Google Earth and Google Adwords.
Tips to engage girls in STEM
Make science interesting!
Discus what STEM looks like
Expand on learning opportunities
Show STEM role models
Promote STEM career options
Have a balanced approach to STEM
Advantages of a STEM career
STEM degrees have a variety of high-paying career options
STEM education makes using new technologies easier
STEM education encourages problem-solving
STEM workforce with more women creates more role models
STEM gives women the tools they can change the world with
The future of STEM is ever evolving and when all genders are equally participating in the field of science the benefits are boundless. There is a fair way to go in having women equally represented in the STEM workforce and every educator, family member and peer who encourages a girl to pursue her dreams of a STEM career is contributing to a more diverse and innovative world.
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