Early education in Science would help initiate more women in STEM

The need for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) jobs is being widely discussed everywhere across the world. Women like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer have disproved decades old notions and the tech world is now looking forward to hiring women. The question is how do we ensure the availability of women in the tech sector?


Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization that advocates the need for exposing girls to computer science. The organization has drawn support from leading tech firms such as Google, Microsoft and Intel. Ashley Gavin, The curriculum director of the organization told CIO, “You make it an option, the girl is not going to take it. You have to make it mandatory and start it at a young age,” she adds, “We all study English before we get to college, we all study history and … social studies before we get to college… No one has any idea what computer science is. By the time you get to college, you develop fear of things you don’t know. Therefore early exposure is really important.”


With women holding just 23 percent of the STEM jobs currently, there is an urgent need for some academic reforms. Girls Who Code also reports that where in 1991, 29.6 percent of the bachelor’s degrees were awarded to women in computer science; in 2010, women took just 18.2 percent of those degrees. This is leading to an overall shortage of STEM workers and especially in Computer Science.


[Picture Courtesy: Google]


This shortage can be overcome by taking measures that highlight the job satisfaction those working in the field, receive. Being a sector that generally pays well, could be a huge motivator for many. According to the Department of Commerce, employees in STEM jobs earn 26 percent more than workers in other fields. Apart from this, Ashley Gavin says that software engineers are most satisfied with their jobs, according to research. She also urges educators to take their students to visit tech companies to help them understand the field.


ORIGINAL SOURCE: CIO http://www.cio.com/article/2377498/continuing-education/early-stem-education-will-lead-to-more-women-in-it.html