- Thursday November 15 2018
- SCI Initiatives
Women currently make up roughly half of the U.S. workforce but represent only 26 percent of STEM professionals.
A gender disparity exists in STEM-related fields. Although the need for workers in STEM fields is growing, girls are less likely to consider pursuing this path. Furthermore, the wage gap between women and men is much smaller in STEM occupations. Women earn $0.92 for every $1.00 earned by men, compared to $0.77 across the workforce.
As leaders in STEM education, we feel it important to do something about this disparity. Our Girls in Science Initiative empowers girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math. Each event includes an opportunity for girls to meet and connect with female STEM professionals and learn about their careers.
One out of four female students report their greatest challenges in attending college are confidence, motivation or support, and only 4% of female students interested in pursuing STEM careers were encouraged to do so by a mentor. We know that mentors make a huge impact in helping females gain the confidence to pursue their dreams. That is why, as an organization, we are doing everything we can to usher in the next generation of female scientists.
Throughout the year, we have events that foster these relationships and help girls envision themselves in STEM careers. Meals with Mentors is an incredible event where coders, doctors, researchers, engineers, mathmaticians, scientists and STEM undergraduates connect one-on-one with girls in grades 7-12. Participants share dinner, participate in group challenges and hear from a female STEM leader. This year, in conjunction with our new exhibit, Brick by Brick, the keynote speaker is a transportation engineer who will speak to the challenges and opportunities inherent in pursuing a career in engineering.
We know we can shape the future generation of women in STEM by inspiring them as children. When a child is encouraged and given the tools to succeed, they can be the next Marie Curie or Jane Goodall. Our goal is to encourage every child who dreams of being a ground-breaking scientist, technology genius, aerospace engineer or mathematician and to foster that hope and help shape it into reality.
You can support Girls in Science events like Meals with Mentors by encouraging girls you know to attend, being a mentor to others and sponsoring initiatives that break down barriers, encouraging everyone to have a passion and interest in STEM careers.