There is still a huge disparity when it comes to men and women in the maths and sciences. However, is it still important to encourage women to go into traditionally male dominated fields, or have we reached an era where everyone should go after their passion (even if that means just a few women remain and/or join the STEM arena)? It’s still crucial to push for more women, and all minorities in STEM, to break that glass ceiling and here’s why.
It doesn’t matter if a woman has a knack for data center security, developing apps or physics. The more diverse a field, the better it will thrive. Industries have a lot of similarities to breeding, and without introducing regular “new blood”, things will get a little too stale, a little too sickly, and overall just a little too inbred. Whether you’re considering a new career, helping your daughter pinpoint her major or serve as a mentor for women, here’s why STEM should be a viable option:
1. It offers stability and potential for lucrative incomes
Forget the fact that they’d be trailblazers for a moment, because STEM offers something many other industries don’t: Security. This is especially true for women, whether they pursue an actual affirmative action position or not. It’s one of the reasons Forbes encourages low-income students to pursue STEM and should be a key consideration.
2. Big fish, small pond
Sometimes this scenario is a good thing, and joining STEM gives women certain advantages. They’re more likely to be the “first” at many things, it’s a bit more streamlined to make a name for themselves, and they’ll serve as inspiration for future generations. It’s why Inc recommends at least starting out as a big fish in a small pond: it gives you a leg up on the competition.
3. Intimidation shouldn’t be a factor
Is it that women don’t want to pursue STEM as much as men, or is it that they’re still intimidated, told (overtly or not) that they’re not the right fit for it, or they want to start “leaning out” and pursuing careers that aren’t as demanding? It could be a number of factors, but these kinds of excuses are just that: Excuses. Yes, it might be more challenging as a minority in just about any situation, but a woman with a passion for STEM should be encouraged to take the leap.
4. There’s plenty of work left to be done
In all areas of STEM, there’s a lot to be discovered, looked at closer and revealed. This is one field that will always be growing (which also makes it pretty secure in a recession).
If a woman is considering STEM, her support network needs to rally behind her. Otherwise, it could be a grand opportunity missed for everyone.
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