STEM Careers for Girls
Ranjan K Baruah
Career choices are different for boys and girls. In recent years we have seen that girls are more interested in humanities in comparison with subjects related to science and technology. We must know that women are typically given smaller research grants than their male colleagues and, while they represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women. In cutting edge fields such as artificial intelligence, only one in five professionals (22%) is a woman.
Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. Gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development. Moreover, it has been shown that empowering women spurs productivity and economic growth.
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on 11 February, is implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science. This Day is an opportunity to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. Gender equality is a global priority for UNESCO, and the support of young girls, their education and their full ability to make their ideas heard are levers for development and peace.
We are aware that although Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields are widely regarded as critical to national economies, so far most countries, no matter their level of development, have not achieved gender equality in STEM. A significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of STEM disciplines all over the world. Even though women have made tremendous progress towards increasing their participation in higher education, they are still under-represented in these fields.
It is time for our girls to choose careers related to STEM and the best thing is that girls or young women from STEM do not sit idle and get frustrated while searching jobs. There are many job opportunities for girls after completing courses related to STEM. There are many scholarships and fellowship and support for girl students who are studying courses related to STEM.
Any girl completing bachelor or masters in mathematics may earn more by simply becoming a tutor. Tutor at home or even she may manage institutions related to coaching when it comes to mathematics. Similarly other subjects of science are also demanded and girls may become tutors and earn a good amount of money other than their peers.
We have seen that girls are interested in medical or allied courses like nursing but when it comes to technical courses like engineering then we see the numbers of girls are little less in comparison with boys. Girl students must know that there are many opportunities in technical fields. We must encourage our girl students to take up courses related to STEM from the initial stage like from school level. Our girl students may excel through STEM and get jobs in different parts of the country and abroad.