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2018 Women in Engineering Empowerment Essay – Dorina Voynov

2018

I will be focusing on the idea of improving the representation of women in STEM fields by encouraging young females to explore STEM subjects. This would result in a future where women in STEM fields are competent, and confident in representing newer generations of women within their companies and research.

For starters, I believe that young girls do not receive enough exposure to careers in STEM. Thus, from a young age they are discouraged to aim for such professions because there are many unknowns to them. A careers course where professionals (mostly female) attend the school to talk about their research and journey during their career would benefit the representation of women in STEM fields. Young girls may be inspired to pursue a similar profession due to the discussion posed by an expert in the field. If a woman in STEM were to speak about her job/research with passion, and excitement, then I am sure their energy would entrance the girls around them. This idea will work best if a school has connections to respectful, energetic STEM workers who also have a knack for teaching. Some obstacles may include connecting with STEM workers, receiving police checks for the guest speakers, and preparing a schedule that would accommodate both the guest speaker, and the careers class.

Similarly, if we were to have a girl’s only STEM fair (like a science fair) it would show girls that there are plenty of opportunities to present their interests with their peers. Women in STEM fields would be recognized for their creative research at a young age, which would show them that there is equal opportunity for them to learn and grow within STEM.

Moreover, there are awards for taking art, French, and music all throughout one’s high school career, but some schools fail to recognize a student’sdiligence in STEM subjects. I believe if there were more opportunities for girls to receive recognition for their efforts in STEM, then there would be more women representing and backing the study of those subjects. It will give girls an incentive or short-term goal for their career path throughout high school. It would also be a great achievement to put on a resume, as it will showcase the girl’s dedication to her program. All in all, it would encourage girls to vouch and represent STEM fields within their high school. That way, STEM awards would build a respectable reputation, thus strengthening the representation of the women who earn them. We could implement these in high schools across Ontario and include unique prizing for the varieties of recipients. We would need to establish criteria for the awards, and advertiseit as an option for girls to strive for during their high school careers.

Overall, exposing girls to STEM fields at a young age will greatly improve their attitudes towards these careers. If we encouraging adolescent females to explore STEM fields, then we will inspire future girls to follow in the grand footsteps of those brilliant women before them.