March 8th marks International Women’s Day, where people from all over celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year’s theme was #BalanceforBetter; a call to action to drive gender balance worldwide in terms of education, economic opportunities, political status, health, and many other factors. This means striving for gender balance in everything from boardrooms and government to wealth, sports coverage, and beyond.
Why Does Such Gender Balance, or “Gender Parity” Matter?
Many of us might not even realize an imbalance exists until we put ourselves into the above situations. There aren’t a lot of women across a boardroom. It matters because the world we experience through work, business, school, and entertainment should reflect the diversity of which this world is composed. “Boys are better at math.” Well, in research published in the journal Science, it was revealed that parents and teachers consistently believe that boys are better at math. According to Janet Hyde, the University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who led the study, such thinking “keeps girls and women out of a lot of careers, particularly high-prestige, lucrative careers in science and technology.” And even though forty-eight percent of undergraduate college degrees in math are actually now earned by women, girls do still lag far behind in fields like physics and engineering.
Additionally, Code.org reports that only 12% of U.S. Computer Science undergraduates are female despite the fact that half the population is female.
You can have a look at more STEM education stats here.
How Do You Inspire Girls to Get into STEM?
It is of crucial matter that stereotypes regarding gender roles in careers should be shattered. Women build women up. Hence, giving young girls a chance to listen to women who have had successful encounters with STEM would help them find the nudge they need to follow their dreams.
Shatter Stereotypes and Instill Self-Confidence
The days of associating all things techie with boys are long gone (for instance, yes, girls play video games).
Alexa Café instructors personify the traits (confidence, boldness, thoughtfulness) and possess the skills (technical knowledge, teamwork, leadership, entrepreneurship) your daughter will need to succeed in fields like software engineering, video game design, filmmaking, and more.
Surround Girls with Those Who Have Industry Experience
Many Alexa Café instructors are STEM majors or graduates who work in fields like computer science, graphic design, game development, and more. They know what it’s like to pursue a technical degree and can share insider tips and other information about majors and careers of interest.
Unlock the Power of Collaboration
Encouraging teamwork among women and giving them a safe space to communicate their ideas and collaborate in small clusters can take women a long way. When girls learn to rely on one another for troubleshooting, problem-solving, and extra inspiration, there’s no end to what they can achieve.
Combine Tech with Beneficence to Create Positive Change
Helping girls dig deep as they brainstorm project ideas in order to determine how they can use technology to make a positive impact in their local communities and beyond will give them a powerful incentive to put themselves out there, totally unapologetic and proud.
Hence, combining tech with important causes resonates with many girls, allowing them to see the broader impacts of their efforts while holding their interest.
Encourage Girls to Follow Their Dreams and Give Them the Tools to Do So
Connect women with people who are passionate about STEM, possess the technical ability, and genuinely love empowering the younger generation of girls to dream and achieve BIG.
With the right combination of tech skills, style, humor, social awareness, inspiration, and friendship, instructors at schools and colleges can show girls that anything is possible and that any college and career aspirations are within reach.
In a Nutshell
An all-girls setting when talking STEM can make a profound impact in terms of technical ability and self-confidence. We encourage women all over to learn about technology through the lens of social impact, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
Feature image taken from rawpixel.com