The best way to improve representation of women in the STEM fields is by women being in the STEM fields! Even with the option available for females to choose to go into math or science, without there being success stories, the confidence in the deciders wanes and one is left to wonder if it can actually be done. No one wants to spend so much time, money and effort working towards a goal where they don’t even stand a chance at succeeding. Now the question is, how do we involve more women in the STEM major?
I am a big believer that it is the small things all along the way that make the biggest differences. There might be some grand program to implement to change all of societies views and stereotypes, but so far, it has been little by little that the population of women has increased, and continues to do so, in the STEM fields. Before any program is going to change society, the mindset has to change. Traditionally math and science has been the ‘guy’ thing to do and women were better in other roles. That mindset has slowly shifted over time, but still has a ways to go. The small, ordinary interactions that portray our mindset is what is going to change society’s mindset. It is the excitement that a college student shares with a younger sibling about projects accomplished in their university labs. It is a high school teacher that encourages both boys and girls to consider different careers. It is a dad telling his daughter about discoveries and advancements being made at his job, getting her excited about the possibilities. It is an example of a woman engineer that has succeeded in achieving her goals that inspires entry level girls to stick with it, because it has been done before. We don’t have to be in a certain position or have a specific title to help woman’s representation to increase in these math and science pursuits. With whatever role we are each in, sharing our mindset with those we interact with seems like a very small thing, but when added together they make a big difference. You might even say the smalls things make all the difference.
I am pursing a biomedical engineering degree with hopes of discovering new advancements with the brain and that frontier that is so exploding with discoveries and possibilities right now! In my small way, I hope to be an example for those girls wondering if it is even possible. I am lucky, myself, to have a few women who have done the same for me. I know that each new generation will have more and more women entering these fields because of successful predecessors.