Workforce Shortage? Start Teaching Girls STEM
You might have read our blog about labor force and dispelling common myths. There is a definite workforce shortage, but there are steps to take to prepare future generations of workers.
Getting more women into the field will go a long way to make up for labor shortages. To get more women in the field, you have to start encouraging girls when they are young. There has been a push over the past decade to get more kids interested in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – classes and extracurricular activities. These programs have seen some success, but girls are still reluctant to pursue STEM interests and careers.
Girls were asked about their perceptions and what would discourage them from these classes. Some obstacles are in the ways girls are raised to view STEM classes and the careers that follow them. Here’s what they had to say:
- They believe STEM careers are only for boys.
- There are no girls in the science club.
- They think STEM classes are too hard and their teachers/counselors might not push them to take more difficult classes
- They don’t want to be viewed as the “smart one.”
- Their friends aren’t interested in STEM.
- Their parents don’t talk to them about, or can’t afford, an education for them beyond high school.
There are organizations that seek to change this, by arranging mentoring programs, resources for teachers and schools, grants, and many other tools.
You can take the pledge to advance women in manufacturing and distribution by mentoring, serving as an ambassador for manufacturing and distribution education, or other ways you can get involved. Go here to take the pledge!