Technology and STEM Careers for Women and Girls: Why Not?
Technology and the Past
The technology industry has always been a huge part of the world. It’s been responsible for the development of the products that we use every single day: phones, laptops/computers, TVs and more. Even back in the day Even centuries ago, technology was necessary and everything we use today existed; it just became more complex over time. Everything has branched out from there. Today, technology is a part of nearly everything we do, it’s even played a huge role in the education system. However, in this industry there isn’t a whole lot of gender diversity at all. Only about 25% of those with computing jobs in the tech industry are taken by women. It’s so bizarre to think that today, in 2019, there’s still such a difference in the numbers between men and women in this area. Many women have avoided taking careers in any of the STEM fields because of issues they face such as sexism.
It used to be such a taboo for women to have jobs. For example, a lot of women would stay home to raise children instead of enter into the workforce. In North America and in some places around the world, women began to work more, as well as look after children after women’s rights movements in the 1920s, 60s and 80s. It became normal for women to be present in the workforce since certain political and social milestones like obtaining the vote were passed. In 2019, there is still much work to do in order to kill the gender bias associated with STEM jobs. People have to work together to encourage and foster young women into STEM careers and jobs in order to create diversity in scientific research and development- for the benefit of women, men and all people in society.
Young women in Robotics
I attend an all-girls high school. One thing that I know my school is very known for is a high school robotics team. I used to think that the whole idea seemed very nerdy and not something that most girls would be interested in. As they always say, never judge a book by its cover. I’m also in the STEM program in my school, so it had been mandatory for me to take the technology course offered.. We only have one technology course with one teacher for it. I initially hated it, but it pushed me to participate and learn new things and at the time it seemed scary because I had just started high school. I had to join a club for my STEM requirements and everyone was doing robotics since it had the most meetings. I again, hated it because of my experience in the class but the club itself was actually really amazing and cool. Being in robotics is a lot of hard work and you have to design robots and put everything together. You also have to do the coding for the robots to make sure that the robot goes in the right directions. It’s also very hands on, even if you’re not one of the people building the robot, you are always involved in some way.
Don’t Be Afraid
If you are a young girl reading this, do what you want with your life. If you want to be an engineer, it doesn’t matter what other people think. Sure, it may not seem like the ‘girliest’ job in the world to have, but that shouldn’t matter. Don’t be afraid to be involved, if you get a bit dirty, then what’s the problem? If boys can get hands on with tools like hammers and saws then why can’t the girls? If you’re a girl who’s interested in the robotics field, don’t ever feel embarrassed, it’s good to be different and put yourself out there about the things that interest you!