These five women alone demonstrate how varied a “STEM career” can be: a researcher, an engineer, a medical director, a radio science journalist, and a STEM career strategist. If we can attract more girls into STEM fields, then we will need systemic change to create an environment they would then want to stay in. Women face many and varied cultural and systemic barriers to success; there are extra hurdles faced by all.
A big reason that there are a lot of women coming to schools to talk to girls about careers is because there are women in the schools motivated to invite them, and there are women out there motivated to donate their time to come and talk. I would love to be a role model who could come and talk to young men about careers and about how to embrace their masculinity in a positive way, but I am not who they need – they need a male role model they can relate to.
In 2015 the United Nations General Assembly declared 11th February as a day to celebrate, recognise and encourage women and girls in STEM fields around the world! This initiative hopes that increased visibility will strengthen interest and support for the next generation of girls who want develop their passions for science.