By Madison Flanagan, Head Journalist
Ever since STEM education was introduced to schools across the country in the early 2000’s, girls and women have been consistently discouraged and dissuaded from pursuing a career in the STEM field.
To understand why there is such a large gap in the STEM field, we must first understand what STEM is. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, so jobs in this discipline have to do with one or more of those fields of study. Astronauts, doctors, pilots, zoologists, and many other incredible and interesting professions fall into this category because they have a strong base in the STEM disciplines.
So, why are females not entering the STEM workforce as much as men are? Many attribute the difference to biology, claiming that the female brain is simply not geared towards the type of thinking involved in STEM. Many studies, such as one conducted by Katie Klavenes and cited by the University of Cambridge, suggest that it is brain type, rather than gender, that encourages people to enter a STEM profession. Plenty of women have a brain that is geared towards the logical and analytical thinking required for STEM work, so it is truly just gender stereotypes and societal pressures that are now keeping women from entering the field.
One way for society as a whole to begin to fill the gender gap in STEM fields is by breaking down the stereotypes and standards that have been ingrained in society for so long. By introducing young girls to STEM at a young age, and showing them that women can really do anything that they set their minds to, perhaps the future will see many more female scientists, doctors, and astronauts! The future truly is female, it is just a matter of encouragement and fostering a love for science in young girls.
staff, S. X. (2016, February 23). Can our brain type explain the gender gap in STEM subjects and careers? Phys.org. https://phys.org/news/2016-02-brain-gender-gap-stem-subjects.html.
The Statistics Portal. Statista. (n.d.). https://www.statista.com/.