The education industry has been a consistent topic of debate for many long years. That is unlikely to change. Currently, issues in education range from student access to additional support, educator income, and mental health among students and educators alike. However, one of the biggest concerns that remains an ongoing issue is the definitive gender gap that still remains in career fields like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This gender gap is largely attributed to the education that individuals receive leading up to their decision to pursue a career of any kind – more specifically, the lack of encouragement that females with interest get to pursue education in such fields. It may be indirect, it may not be intentional, but the lack of encouragement on all levels is very much present. Luckily, there are some females in the industry that have used their voices, their successes, and their positions of power to encourage girls and young women with interest to chase their dreams. Additionally, the gender gap is very much noticed now, and there are definitely those that are encouraging more women to apply. There is a long way to go, but the gender gap is beginning to close in on itself, giving way to a new era in which females and males work alongside one another in the STEM fields, forging a stronger, more adaptable future.
The gender gap in some career fields has been an ongoing issue for many years, but that gap has begun to close in many of them. While this welcome change to personnel is quite broad, there are still some fields – like STEM – that are unbalanced in their intake of professionals of either gender. While the gender gap does not always tip in favour of male candidates and professionals, in technological fields it tends to. The issue is not necessarily that businesses in the industry favour men, but more than there are significantly less women that enter the field, or even study it to begin with. The problem is not lack of interest; there are countless women that are interested in fields like STEM. The issue stems from lack of encouragement. Thankfully, there are many student support programs and platforms available, including SolutionInn study membership and social media support groups and virtual meets. But there simply needs to be more done to encourage girls and young women, on all levels.
Girls and young women still remain less likely to chase after education opportunities that could lead to a career in these fields, despite females doing just as well – if not better – than their male counterparts in class work surrounding STEM material. There are many girls and young women that display an affinity for STEM fields, but historically even those individuals have been given less encouragement than their male classmates, leading to a definitive rise in male professionals in the industry and a decidedly small intake of female counterparts to work alongside them. As men have historically been proven to be more outspoken in education topics of science, technology, engineering, and math, girls and young women have been taught that these fields are better suited to men, and that their voices are not as loud as their male classmates. Subsequently, few women have braved the education required to branch into careers in STEM fields, and the result has been a definite gender imbalance that is only just not beginning to even itself out.
Thankfully, the women that do pursue careers in the STEM fields are going out of their way to speak out about the gender gap, and to encourage girls and young women that have a passion for the fields to embrace their passion and to follow it. Additionally, the industry that these career fields lies under is further encouraging female individuals that have a passion for the field to consider studying the material further and building a career in the field. All too aware of the struggles in getting the correct and same educational opportunities as males with interest in STEM topics, women that have forged their careers in STEM fields are encouraging girls and women to take heed of their passions; to go after the educational rights that are theirs to take, to excel in their classes and to be outspoken in questioning when they feel the need to, and to chase after a career that stems from STEM education. Education is only part of the key: the rest lies in encouragement to use that key. Without that, the imbalance was always going to remain steadfast. It is fantastic to see a change in the wind. The only hope now is that educators and parents use that change to keep the young minds of girls and young women hungry for what they truly want out of life and their chosen career paths.
Appropriate role models, higher encouragement, and elimination of stereotypes will all actively be a part of abolishing the gender gap in the STEM field. It all starts with education, on all ends and in all scopes. The gender gap that still exists in career fields surrounding technology is beginning to close, and the future has never looked more equally sustainable, or brighter. With both men and women working alongside one another in innovative fields, the future of both education and technological advancement has never seemed brighter.