How the World is Changing for STEM
We have seen the rapid growth of the Internet of Things, which is the digitization of our everyday life. My refrigerator can now collect data about my grocery consumption, make recipe recommendations, and communicate it to my grocery list stored on the cloud or other mobile devices. Our growing dependency on technology requires a skilled workforce able to understand those technologies and interdependencies.
Our future world will be increasingly focused on STEM and SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud), and we need to align our STEM approach with social and collaborative tools, mobile interaction, data analytics, and cloud technologies. I believe STEM and SMAC will no longer be auxiliary but integral to many of the jobs we have today, and create categories of work we have yet to realize.
Moving Women Forward in STEM
We need to emphasize that success in STEM today means inclusive teams that have a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives. To encourage women to launch STEM careers, we need to equip them with learning and development opportunities, and open avenues by which they can bring their diverse talents to the workplace. We need to make sure that we champion, mentor, and advocate for women through communities or networking opportunities to develop experiences and connections.
Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road
Women are half of our population, so not tapping into that diverse talent pool would be a disservice to us all. I hope that in five years, we will have more women in STEM leadership, more girls entering STEM academic programs, and more women entering the workplace ready to take on corporate challenges in the STEM realm. To ensure that pipeline, however, we have to be intentional with early STEM development for girls and an intentional focus on expanding STEM opportunities for women.