2018 Women in Engineering Empowerment Essay – Emily Wells

I had a wonderful childhood and through the opportunities that I experienced growing up and the love and support of my parents, I never felt the need to look back when I started to have an interest in mathematics. However, that is a story unlike many other young woman’s story. The lack of woman in STEM careers has always baffled me and so naturally, I began to wonder why at a very young age. So as I grew up and realized how blessed I was to have the experiences and parents that I do, I believe that the lack of women in STEM is due to a mixture of reasons, but one major reason is the lack of encouragement for specifically young girls growing up. This is seen from how advertisement, social media, TV shows, and movies show woman in the work force. Young girls don’t see the reality of women working in STEM careers. Therefore, if they don’t see it, then how could they dream to grow up and work in a STEM field? I also have heard, and agree, with the argument about what toys are given to young girls versus what toys are given to young boys. I really believe it makes a huge difference as young girls grow up. I also think that as girls grow up, their schools may not encourage them to become invested in a STEM career path, just as my counselor did to me. Therefore, with such a lack of encouragement, why would a young girl, who only rarely sees women in STEM careers, was only given the pretty toys, and is discouraged by schools, even have an interest in STEM fields?

Naturally, as I started realizing why less women than men are in STEM careers, I wanted to figure out a way to fix it. Since I believe the lack of women in STEM is due to young girls not being encouraged, I think that to really change the reality we see today, we would have to change how we, as a society, encourage our young girls. I believe, as some people have already argued for, we need to change what it means to be a girls toy. Then the next step would be about awareness; To educate more people about what is happening to the nations young girls as they grow up. Encourage the people that influence children to show every young boy and girl that success is about intelligence, kindness, and determination: Success is about pushing yourself past what you thought you couldn’t overcome. It would also be beneficial to try to have an important figure in today’s society, like Michael Obama, speak about these issues to get the conversation going. Therefore, I believe that the best way to really help change the lack of women in STEM career fields, is by educating parents, teachers, school counselors, sport coaches, and so many other people in any and every way, about what is happening as young girls grow up and how their actions could help encourage the women of tomorrow to reach beyond what they thought possible to become truly successful.