Stimulating Interest in STEM for Girls

Technology is advancing every day, so careers in technology have only been expanding and driving the need for more applicants in this field.  STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is future oriented. More and more jobs are decreasing the routine skills needed and increasing the need for more technical skills. Many governments are even encouraging students to choose STEM fields of study. Nobody can deny that technology will continue to be at the helm of our scientific and social development as a species. A large debate that many parents have right now is the use of technology around or with their children. However, technology is the future and shielding kids away from its potential may have a negative impact when they enter the future job market. Particularly, we want to encourage children from all demographics to not only be exposed to STEM education, but to explore and find interest in the vast areas of different STEM fields. 

To discover why there is a lack of diversity in tech careers, we look at the root causes and patterns that lead to these outcomes. Ideally, young people should be actively encouraged to explore the different careers within technology from an early age to allow for informed decisions regarding their higher education. Without this encouragement, they may later lack the STEM-based qualifications required by a lot of entry level roles if they choose to pursue a career in the field.  In recent years, the gender gap in tech careers has been narrowing, but there is still plenty of room for growth of women in tech.   With women’s job prospects disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, we must ensure that male and female students are treated equally right from the beginning of their educations if we are to address any imbalances in the long-term.  

Science, unfortunately, has often been perceived to be tough and negative. Some of this comes from movies and books that portray scientists to be nerdy. All adults, not just teachers, can play a big role in changing this view. They can explain to students how science has changed the world and make interesting connections about the subject. They can encourage the students by conducting different scientific experiments. If students see that their teacher is knowledgeable and passionate about science, then that can inspire students to explore different scientific paths and ask more questions.  Encouraging students to research a diverse group of famous figures in tech would allow students to see that individuals who have similar backgrounds as them can excel in tech. 

Looking for an inspiring resource to introduce your child to STEM and other career options for girls? Check out “Careers For Girls by Anne Daly! It’s an excellent resource!

Ms. Career Girl

It is helpful to invest in coding lessons for kids.  Coding is an essential part of modern society, and the need for coding skills is increasing in all industries. Entering the adult world with knowledge of coding will open up their employment and study opportunities greatly. If you are worried about your children sitting passively in front of a screen all day, coding is the opposite of that – they will be creating exciting new things while learning this valuable skill. 

Show kids how STEM relates to their every day lives.  Showing youth how science is used in everyday lives is sure to spark interest. We have cell phones, video games, tablets, etc. because of science. All of these things make our lives easier and overall better.  Having students pick their favorite device and researching the inventor(s) will allow them to learn how diverse the tech industry can be. There are plenty of women and POC who have made great advancements and created some amazing inventions in the world of tech.

The key to getting students involved in science at an early stage is to make it fun and interesting.  Nothing gets kids more excited than a stimulating day trip. If you are concerned that your children are only interested in gaming or movies and are not aware of the more exciting sides of technology, try taking them to visit a robotics center or local science center/museum.  They can meet experts who will inspire them to pursue their interests in a more productive way.  Many museums offer discounted or free entrance up to a certain age group! Plus, putting them in this opportunistic environment that can push them further and help nurture potential talents for technology and science.  There are also many television shows and YouTube channels where students can watch different programs related to science which can instill vigorous curiosity.

Listening without judgment to kids about how and why they use or do not use technology is important. No matter if a child is a certified “techy” or is not interested in technology at all, you should listen carefully to what he/she has to say on the subject.  Creating opportunities for those who might seem disinterested can look like asking students to use science to come up with new ideas that would help make their day to day lives easier. For example, students can be asked to develop an app for everyday use. Group competitions can be created as well. In most schools, events, like a science fair, are organized. Having more events like this will motivate the students to do interesting experiments and create more interest in science.

Co-founder and CEO of Sabio Coding Bootcamp, Liliana Monge, says, “Over the past few years, we have really focused on women and POC recruitment to our programs. The number of women in the tech industry has grown tremendously over the years, and it has been great to watch.”  Sabio Coding Bootcamp offers a comprehensive curriculum that allows students from all backgrounds to flourish in their pursuit of a career in tech.  Sabio has flexible course options in full stack web development, tuition financing, and scholarships for women in tech.  According to Course Report, the number of women pursuing computer science degrees are decreasing, but the number of women enrolling in bootcamps is increasing. Women are starting to see the benefits of a tech career including increased salary, job enjoyment, and career security. Whether right out of college or coming from a different career background, Sabio wants to help their students achieve their dream jobs in tech. 

This guest post was authored by Liliana Monge

Liliana is the co-founder and CEO of Sabio Coding Bootcamp as well as a social entrepreneur that believes in the power of hard work. Liliana was born in Northern Mexico and came to the United States when she was five years old. She lived in Los Angeles for most of her childhood with her mother and older sister. She attended Wellesley College and graduated with a BA in Biology.  

Coming from an economic development background, Liliana found it important to find opportunities that empowered the community. Sabio allows individuals to transform their lives through their careers.  Throughout her career, Liliana has been driven to help people become exceptional technical professionals and is the heart and soul behind Sabio.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.