Updated: Jul 24
by Wensi Wu
According to the National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators 2018, only 28% of women in the United States are in the science and engineering workforce. About 60% of women work towards social science, 48% work towards biological, agricultural, and environmental life sciences; however, only 15% of women work in engineering and 26% of women in computer and mathematical sciences.
An increasing number of females are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related fields over time; however, males may still be the majority. For example, the majority of people in the computer sciences field are men. Even though there is a gender barrier, women can break the barrier one day in STEM-related fields. The stereotypes of STEM fields are viewed as masculine and that females can’t do it. Just because STEM is male dominate, it doesn’t mean that females can’t do it. There are fewer women role models, but that doesn’t mean it will forever be that way. More female role models will be made in the future but it must start today.
For many women, the words “you can’t do it because you’re a girl” is a common phase. However, many women also know that’s not true and will show the world what they can do. Just because certain people believe you can’t do it doesn’t mean that you can’t. The only person ever stopping you is yourself. Women may be discriminated against because of their gender and it is a challenging journey, but it doesn’t prove that women can’t be in STEM-related fields. Each woman is different and has their own goals. With higher education levels, such as Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.), women are minority also. Women may need to put in more work than men toward the same goal, but women will still achieve their goals. Men’s wages will be higher as compared to women’s wages. It’s unfair that women are getting discriminated against and have to put extra effort as compared to men. One day, women should be viewed as equally as men, not only in STEM-related fields but everything in society.
Society can be difficult in areas with a small number of females, but with confidence, strength, and knowledge, society can change. Every woman can be a role model for the future generation, even if the woman is not known in history. One woman can inspire one girl to achieve her dream. A girl should be able to achieve her dream based on her ability, not because of gender.
STEM shouldn’t be something that scared girls, but something that girls want to work for and be creative with their own minds.