Whether you’re in the US, Germany, or basically anywhere else in the world you’ve likely heard that there are more men than women in STEM fields. We’re talking engineering, IT specialists, developers, etc. How can we get more women into these fields? How can we get more girls to grow up to be the next generation of astronauts and cyber security specialists?
There are several different ways parents, teachers, corporations, and even society can keep girls interested in STEM. In another blog post we’ll address the influence of micro-messages and stereotypes, but for now, here are the 5 biggest factors driving girls’ interest in STEM.
1. Having female role models
Kids look up to adults to learn everything about the world. This includes career choices. When girls see women represented in STEM careers it’s easier for them to imagine themselves in that career and understand that it is an option for them.
2. Practical, hands-on activities
Practical and hands-on experience is important for girls to learn more about and understand STEM. This helps girls build confidence in their skills and knowledge
3. Encouragement from Teachers
We all hold biases and believe stereotypes whether we’re aware of them or not. Teachers are no exception. Teachers have been shown to subconsciously call on boys more often than girls in math classes, for example. When teachers are aware of this they can encourage girls to be interested in STEM subjects which has a significant impact on girls
4. Real-life applications
It’s important for girls to work on projects that have real-life applicability. This helps them understand what they can do with STEM in the future and to imagine themselves in these careers.It’s important for girls to work on projects that have real-life applicability. This helps them understand what they can do with STEM in the future and to imagine themselves in these careers.
5. Confidence in equality
As girls get older confidence in equality in the workplace is important for choosing a STEM career. They are more likely to choose STEM as a career if they believe that men and women will be treated equally in the workplace. This is where society and corporations can get involved to get more girls interested in STEM.
These methods are all backed by research that Microsoft did in 2017. To read more in detail, check it out here: