It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Despite accounting for nearly 60 percent of all college graduates in the U.S., women earn only 18 percent of degrees in computer science and engineering and 35 percent of degrees in STEM overall.
The cybersecurity badge will be counted among the 18 new skills that Girl Scouts will be able to master beginning in the fall of 2018. The badges will be available to scouts in kindergarten through 12th grade, and will focus on different skills, depending on the age group: Younger scouts will learn about data privacy, cyberbullying, and Internet safety. Older scouts will focus on coding, ethical hacking, and firewalls.
One of the worst-kept secrets in the tech world is how “awful” tech companies can be to women. You don’t have to go far to find a story about sexism or discrimination. There are a lot of theories about why this is happening, but I think the root cause doesn’t get enough exposure: More girls need to be encouraged to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM-related fields from a very young age.
Years ago Kristi Grigsby's daughter asked her a question she struggled to answer. "What is an engineer?" her then-little girl, Jennifer, wanted to know. "I didn't know," Grigsby said. "I couldn't explain it to her." Grigsby knows a lot more now -- and she is making sure other parents and little girls do too through her new STEM Girls Books series. That's STEM as in science, technology, engineering and math.
At the 2017 Code PaLOUsa conference, Sara Chipps, CEO of Jewelbots, explained how girls are socialized away from tech careers, and what companies can do to close the gender gap.
San Francisco-based startup KiraKira’s approach to engaging girls is to make STEM topics fun and practical. The company combines fashion design, engineering, and 3D printing for an experience that stimulates and educates young minds. KiraKira offers summer design camps and popup studios. The company is also working on custom lesson plans for educators to use in their classrooms.
Imagine walking into a room and not seeing a single person that looks like you. Not seeing yourself reflected in your peers, and not feeling like you could possibly fit. For girls, this is unfortunately still the case for many who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
The invasion of enterprise technology into the telecom sector will likely bring with it greater gender diversity. There are more women in enterprise IT than in the telecom industry, and as the two worlds collide, there's hope that workers of the female persuasion will also start filtering into telecom.
To help raise awareness about opportunities, organizations like Inforum and Bosch Community Foundation are stepping up with new programs unveiled this week to expose more girls and boys to STEM careers. Inforum launched its mentoring program called inSTEM, which is aimed at encouraging more women to serve as mentors to young girls.
Stereotypes about girls studying and working in science, technology, engineering, and math fields are decades old. While girls play with dolls, boys are given Legos and trains, and then grow up to work at Microsoft and Google. Although this adage is something that is often accepted, it wasn’t fully understood at what age boys and girls begin to deviate in terms of interest in STEM fields and their self-confidence about performing in those fields.