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STEM is an acronym freely tossed around today when talking about education and fields of study. But, what exactly is STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These areas of study play an enormous role in the foundation of the world as we know it. All of the advances in society are due in part because of the technological innovations that are being made. Without STEM, we would not have phones, or Snapchat, Amazon, Facebook, and robots. The world would not be the same, not even close.
So why is it that women only make up 24 percent of STEM-related careers? It has nothing to do with the fact that women compose less of all the jobs in America, in fact, they make up almost half of the workforce (47 percent). It is because women feel discouraged from this male-dominated domain. They are not given opportunities at a young age to explore their STEM side. Instead, they are being told that math and science should be left to the men. Even if they do express an interest and get a degree in a field such as computer science, employers doubt the ability of women to perform such tasks. There is no reason why such a disparity should exist.
Why is it so important that women are a larger majority in the STEM field? According to the United States Department of Economics and Statistics Administration, those that do work in a STEM-related career reportedly made 35 percent more than women in other areas of study. This is a noticeable disparity. With the gender wage gap existing, it would be beneficial for women to start dominating fields of study that pay more. It is reported that the wage gap is smaller in this field. To add, technology is the future, and so are women. If women want their voices heard, there is no better way than .to be the innovators of tomorrow.
Fortunately, many people in America are noticing this important issue and are trying to change it. The key is to nurture the STEM interests of girls while they are young. Programs such as Kode With Klossy, Girls Who Code, and STEMGirls are allowing girls to reach their full potential. They allow aspiring women to take part in free summer camps, school clubs, and activities to explore the world of STEM. The future involves STEM; it involves women too.
Sscheller. “Reaching the Full Potential of STEM for Women and the U.S. Economy.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 4 Aug. 2017, http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/reaching-full-potential-stem-women-and-us-economy.http://www.esa.doc.gov/reports/women-stem-2017-update
Sscheller. “Reaching the Full Potential of STEM for Women and the U.S. Economy.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 4 Aug. 2017, www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/reaching-full-potential-stem-women-and-us-economy.
“Girls Who Code — Join 90,000 Girls Who Code Today!” Girlswhocode, girlswhocode.com/.
“Home.” STEMgirls Club, stemgirlsclub.com/.