Why a Girl Doesn't Grow STEMs
by Navy Girl on October 14, 2016 - 1:01pm
Why is it that girls are most often considered and encouraged to be like flower petals—beautiful and artsy—instead of stems where complexity and science is a beauty of its own? Why is there a low ratio of girls to guys in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields?
Perhaps stereotyping in the classroom and media is to blame for the previous. In the classroom, and even at home, girls struggling in math are often consoled “It’s not your fault; math and science aren’t really girl things.” Television shows, movies, apps, media—they all seem to portray a female who is a model, artist, baker, a doctor, and sometimes a lawyer more often than a nuclear scientist, a program developer, an accountant, or an engineer. Perhaps girls feel that they can’t excel in fields where men are thought to “have the genes for it.” Perhaps women are afraid that doing so would make them less attractive to that cute hubby they’ve been hoping for. Honestly, the reasons are quite possibly as varied as us ladies. Either way, the stereotyping is wrong.
Frankly, STEM is dominating our world today, and it is important that these fields are not stereotyped, because, if they are, we may soon face a generalized world. Why should guys create apps and media for girls? Why should men take all of the high positions in the growing business industry? If technology and engineering are for everybody, shouldn’t it be created and operated by everybody and not just males? Shouldn’t women have an equal opportunity to desire to study and enhance the world by science since it is, after all, our world, too? Cell phones and software fill our world, making technology and engineering an impossible field to ignore and not know something about. Math is everywhere, and science is constantly growing. Where will we women be if our place in STEM continues to become scarce?
In conclusion, I think that one way girls and women can grow their interest and career options in STEM is to break down and/or ignore the walls of academic stereotyping. Maybe we’ll stand out for a while, but we’ll be standing among great women who have advanced the fields of STEM. In fact, one day we may welcome more women—our sisters, our nieces, our daughters, our neighbors etc.—into the field. Ladies in the STEM fields: shine like the sun to encourage us, and help us grow in STEM, too! As for you guys, won’t you please shower a special lady in your life with encouragement to pursue her passion or grow her interest in STEM. Maybe, once all that has happened, any girl can grow STEMs while continuing to embrace the petals.