How many times did you have a competition in school that was “Girls vs Boys”? My earliest memories of competition are a cute little obstacle race in elementary school, where the girls’ race had simplest obstacles like, eat a banana, tie your shoes. But the boys’ race on the other hand had jumping over tables, running with heavy bags and everything that pointed out at the fact that they can endure more than us. I don’t mean to sound like a hard-core feminist, but I do want to point out the GAP our education system creates from a very early age. And, this is a global problem!
We continue to raise our girls’ with less brevity and more coyness! We have created a large gap by creating differences between what girls can and can’t do! Whether it’s physically challenging things or more challenging math or science problems. It’s interesting to note that girls mostly do better than boys in examinations throughout their pre-university lives, but somehow they don’t take up challenging degrees as much as boys do! The gap is then carried forward to professional world.
I am not making all this up, there is tons of data to back it up;
In the US only 29% of STEM workforce are women, only 15% are in engineering and 25% in mathematical sciences. Fields like mechanical engineering and electrical engineering have only 7.9% and 10.10% of women engineers respectively. The more you read about these numbers, the more you realize how differently we are raising the two genders. I am sure these numbers are far worse around the world, where in some case women don’t even have equal right to education!
The main reason why we need equal representation in STEM workforce is that with current ratios we are missing out on half of the human perception. Women constitute roughly half of the human population, their opinions and decisions in world changing technologies like A.I, Blockchain, Solar energy etc, can lead us to a more profound and meaningful future. Also women control 60% of personal wealth in the US , they are also a huge part of the consumer market that we are targeting with new technological advancements. Hence, it’s very important to have more women getting involved in the process of designing and creating our future.
We need to encourage and create new women role models, that our next generation can look up to! Sharing more stories of women in STEM is a great way to show young girls that they can be pretty and an engineer too! They can be brave and graceful! They can do anything they want to! They can change the future of humankind!
Being a part of the STEM field, I strongly believe that this field can use more female representation! There is nothing more awesome than having more women than men in a product design meeting! 😉