STEM: Potential Changes Among Girls and Generations

Do you want to know some fun facts? Here we go: The prediction shows that by 2030, up to 75% of jobs will need candidates with skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). And yet, regardless of this simple fact and the rapid growth of the entire population, women still need to be represented in (STEM) and other related fields. Globally, only 28% are in the technology industry, whereas only 30% are in sub-Saharan Africa. Only 28% contributed globally in research fields, and in Rwanda, only 21.8%.

One wonders WHY? Everyone would understand if this inequality were based on some sort of inability. On the contrary, you will be shocked as you read below.

Before jumping to a few reasons why women are held back in STEM, let’s look at what could potentially be the benefits. 

See, allowing women equal opportunities to study and secure careers in STEM would/help narrow the inequality in the payment of salaries based on gender, and women’s economic security would be boosted. Also, the labour force of any country is diverse and composed of talented labourers, which would prevent biases in these fields. Fact: Today, an official STEM worker earns two-thirds more than any other worker in any other field in any given country. STEM skills are in demand. And yet, regardless of all these benefits, STEM occupations, such as computer science, have the lowest number of women.

Contributing factors: 

  • Gender norms: In all STEM fields, there is still, and often, a sense of masculinity ownership, and teachers, parents, and peers discourage and patronise women/girls’ abilities at a younger age.
  • Presence of Male-dominated customs: The truth is that few women study or get to work in STEM fields, which goes back again to societal norms and traditions. Thus, these fields tend to exclude, perpetuate and promote male dominance that pushes away women.
  • Lack of representation: Because of the history of women’s exclusion, women tend to have less representation (role Modules) in S.T.E.M. fields, which creates less motivation. They need more people to look up to.

What’s the solution…

The solution would be to have more entities for girls’ growth and well-being, as She Honed for Excellence (SHE). We are a movement that genuinely wants the best for girls and women in general, and on this, we join Dr Woods-McConney, who said: 

“We want female students to feel encouraged to study subjects such as physics and chemistry, engineering, and technology just as much as male students, as the skills acquired through these studies, have applications in the workforce that will be of equal value to both genders.”