Increasing Diversity in STEM
I think increasing diversity in STEM should start in the elementary school system to encourage young women to speak up and be heard in science and engineering courses. At even younger ages, we want women to be aware of successful, even famous, female scientists; career opportunities they can explore; and that careers in STEM are fun, challenging, and rewarding.
Barriers to Closing the Gender Gap
We need to make leadership in business and government understand the importance and value of having a diverse workforce. Having a diverse STEM workforce allows businesses and universities to recruit and retain the best overall talent. We also need to improve educational programs in elementary, middle, and high school to inform women about STEM opportunities and encourage them to learn more about careers in STEM.
How the STEM World Is Changing
There are sincere efforts being made to inform and bring awareness to female scientists and engineers. Young women now have female role models they can look up to and learn from in the STEM fields.
Moving Women Forward in STEM
I think mentorship and sponsorship programs are important for women in STEM. I often request more diversity in speaker panels at conferences when I do not see a lot of diversity represented. Programs that allow women in to meet and communicate play an important role in moving women forward in STEM. Finally, it’s vital that we work together with our male colleagues to improve diversity in business. Men still hold many more positions of power than women, and we need their support and commitment in order to achieve greater success.
Women in STEM 5 Years Out
I hope to see more women taking leadership positions in STEM and more women studying and pursuing careers in STEM.
A Word of Advice to Women in STEM
There are so many different career opportunities in STEM. It is okay to take a step outside your comfort zone. Get creative and explore the different opportunities that are available to you.