The purpose of this blog is to explore Louisiana's strategy and capacity for advancing STEM education, careers, and workforce for all. Louisiana has its own array of STEM assets, strengths and approaches in place - thus this site is designed to discover these strategies and activities. Not just a PK12 issue - all stakeholders, higher education, workforce development, economic development, business & industry, are welcome to participate. Hopefully the site will pose and answer questions that will ultimately help guide and focus diverse partners in this effort.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Role Models (and Parents) Can Help Close Gender Gap in STEM

What we know:

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that only 14% of engineers are women and that 5% of STEM workers overall are from underrepresented groups.
  • At the college level, women account for only 18% of those earning a bachelor's degree in engineering.  In Louisiana, this percent is even lower.

These facts stated by Techbridge put it all into perspective. The current representation of women in STEM is alarming low, indicating a serious need for role models that help increase STEM identity in girls.  How do we increase female student exposure to inspirational role models and the information they need?  

Great article (linked below) featured in the Guardian reflects on the value of role models in closing the gender gap in STEM.  The article refers to several sites that feature STEM role models for girls, such as Your Daughter's Future and Science Grrl.  These sites offer information on different careers and contain tips on gaining beyond school day experience, managing exam stress and boosting confidence, with tailored information for different ages.  Made With Code is another site that does a great job of featuring inspirational video shorts by both role models as well as young female students who have already started making a difference in IT fields.  Finally, Role Models Matter, a toolkit designed by Techbridge, offer a range of tools to help professional women in every community serve as a role model. 

Link to Article:  

Guide for parents to help girls consider male-dominated careers

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