Raised in a family where most of the family member is enrolling in STEM fields, the topic is no stranger to be talked about. Heavily influenced by relatives, I, myself studied engineering — which some finds fascinating since I chose to write as a profession. I write because that is my passion ever since I was 12, and at times I find it to be therapeutic. But, I will say this… I never regretted studying engineering.
Even though I love to write, I find science to be something quite enthralling. Especially, since I witness firsthand of a remarkable picture of women in STEM… My grandmother, Prof. Aisjah Girindra — Among all the other amazing women in science as well, of course. Though I can’t say I was the best student, I guess I can admit that I was a fairly good engineering student.
As a woman who studied engineering, I can’t help but think that women remain dramatically underrepresented across all STEM studies and careers. It is widely acknowledged to be dominated by the male gender. Let’s take a look of a few percentages of women in STEM…
15% of engineering graduates
19% of computer studies
38% of mathematics
So, how can we close the gender gap and fuel the next generation of female innovators? At a time when technology continues to transform the way we live, work and learn, the need to close the STEM gender gap is more critical than ever.
In light to influence young girls about the subject, we need to highlight the women in STEM and introduce them as role models. From pushing past the fear of the unknown to denying false stereotypes… Here are what young girls can expect if they aspire to be in the STEM field.
Get Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable
Don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable — Often times, there will be opportunities that you think you can’t do, but the truth is that you really can. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable and try things you’ve never done before. Because we’ll never know that, in time, it will turn out to be something that you actually like.
Push Past Gender Stereotypes
Choosing to follow a path less travelled by those of your demographic can be quite a challenge. Especially when faced with the actions and opinions of those who are implicitly biased towards maintaining a particular status quo. However, you can succeed in the face of this opposition with as much grandeur as possible. Recognize that there exists in some this internal bias but refuse to let it corrode your sense of self-worth and limit what you think yourself capable of.
Network Your Way To Success
As always, in any field, a network can play a major determinant of success. Fostering meaningful relationships for your professional career is necessary to enter and succeed in a STEM field. Networking can be as simple as participating in school clubs, signing up for tech newsletters, or even going to your professor’s office hours.