In a survey of more than 1,000 girls around the country, girls reported feeling encouraged to pursue technology instruction by parents (70 percent), but said their schools often don’t provide ideal class offerings.
The Society of Women Engineers held an Introduction to Engineering Workshop at Independence Charter School in Center City Nov. 17 with the goal of encouraging middle school girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. “[To] stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life and demonstrate the value of diversity,” Kristine Loh, the outreach director for SWE, said while explaining the SWE mission.
Despite modest gains in degree attainment in science, technology, engineering and math, women and minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the fields, according to a new report out Wednesday. Women are also less likely to enter STEM occupations after earning a STEM degree as are blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans, according to the report...
“Getting children at a young age to be immersed in STEM, and not separating the boys to the sandpit and the girls to a garden, having them be equal with the toys and the lessons and what you’re choosing to teach them -- I hope I can help foster that sense of equality in STEM,” Vassalo said.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday announced an initiative promoting computer science and technology education, emphasizing gender and minority equity in the STEM field. Hogan's "ACCESS" initiative -- or Achieving Computer science Collaborations for Employing Students Statewide -- is an education and workforce development plan that includes $5 million in additional funding as well as new legislation to establish computer-science standards for K-12 education statewide.
"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%.
As careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) continue to expand, experts are still concerned about the gender gap that exists in these fields. While the National Science Foundation finds that boys’ and girls’ performance in some STEM topics is pretty even during K–12 education, disparities begin in college and deepen at the career level.