Thursday, August 7, 2014

7 Ways to Retain Women in STEM

It is no secret the wondrous world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is lacking a strong female workforce.  With the situation getting progressively worse in recent years, there is a necessity to attract more women to STEM careers.  As it currently stands, around 50 percent of the United States workforce consists of women, while only about 26 percent of women work in STEM fields.  That leaves 74 percent of all STEM jobs to men, which creates a lasting impression in women’s minds that STEM is a “man’s world.”

To battle the existing misconceptions women have about STEM, encouragement and information about potential opportunities and benefits of a career in STEM must be provided for girls early on in their educational careers.  Along with encouragement, young girls should have successful female STEM role models to answer any and all questions they may have.  The key to retaining women in STEM begins with educating them early on about the numerous career opportunities and how to become a part of those fields.

Here are some suggestions on how to encourage young girls to consider a career in STEM:

1. Provide absolute positivity about women in the STEM fields and about the scientific capabilities of women in general.

2. Purchase toys and games for girls that encourage problem solving and innovation.

3. Encourage group activities and competition among girls that are related to the scientific field.

4. Incorporate successful female STEM role models in the lives and education of young women.

5. If you are a woman working in one of the STEM fields, share your story.

6. Advocate for the arts and sciences in the education system.

7. Drive the conversation about girls and women in the STEM fields.

For more information on why these suggestions work, visit:

AND don’t forget to register for the upcoming Women In STEM Exchange Summit in Boston, coming October 21st, where you will be able to make one-on-one connections with potential employees and increase STEM retention rates among women.

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