Women in STEM are Just as Important as Men

Over the last few years, women have been pursuing and ~succeeding~ in many male dominated fields. We’re seeing it in business, politics and now we’re seeing women pursue more career in the STEM fields. STEM consists of science, technology, engineering and math and women are THRIVING in these fields!

Having representation in a male dominated industry helps shed light on the disadvantages and obstacles women face trying to pursue these careers. But it’s not just in their career field that women face obstacles, it starts in their college years. Anything from a lack of women in their classes to male dominated academic organizations, situations like these can make women feel out of their element. Even finding a cover photo for this article was difficult due to the lack of representation of women in science!

Amanda Rodriguez is a senior majoring in Geography who hopes to use her degree to tackle issues surrounding inequality and the environment. When asked about disadvantages women face in their respective field, this is what she had to say, “many of my geography (GGS) classes are male-dominated, especially the ones with technical aspects. It can be a little intimidating to feel out of place in a classroom or lab, but reminding myself that I deserve to be there just as much as everyone else always helps.” Women have to constantly remind themselves that they belong in their field just as much as their male counterpart.

Via Buzzfeed

Representation is so important especially when it comes to younger girls. Sarah Harley, a senior majoring in Forensic Science, believes that by ending the stigma that these fields are only for men will encourage young girls to pursue STEM careers. “Get girls involved in afterschool programs and the women already in STEM to speak to them. Show them that they can do it too!”

Mayim Bialik who’s pictured above, most commonly known as Amy Fowler on the Big Bang Theory, does exactly that. She is a neuroscientist who received her Doctorate degree from UCLA. She currently works to teach young children about science and I’m confident that she has many young girls that are looking up to her. It goes to show that women aren’t just good for acting and singing, but we’re capable of pursuing intellectually demanding careers and we can exceed at them.

Women are incredibly important to the STEM fields. Men and women process and think about situations differently. We can bring skills to the table that men might not necessarily be able to copy. “I believe that women can come at a scientific problem from a different angle and possibly see a solution that wasn’t seen before. Diversity ensures that multiple perspectives can tackle a problem, giving it a greater chance of being solved,”  says junior Forensic Psychology major Nicole Cannan. She could not have been more right. Not downplaying men’s intelligence, but women view different angles of a particular problem and can come at it from a different perspective that men might not think about.

But to get to the root of the problem, we have to determine WHY girls felt so undeserving of being in such a prestigious field.Young girls are always pushed from an early age to play with baby dolls and play kitchens. In middle and high school they take classes learning how to cook. I remember I took a technology class in middle school for a requirement, and every girl in the class was partnered with a boy in the class because the teacher thought that boys were more inclined to be better at technology and math. That discouraged me from pursuing a science career even though I always did very well in my science classes.

Encouraging young girls to enjoy science and math will push them into fields where women need more representation. We have issues in medicine that directly affect women but are not being solved by women. We need more women doctors, we need more women mathematicians and engineers.

Via Pixabay

Erin Van Dell hopes to use her Mechanical Engineering degree to “create something that will make someone’s life easier or help cure a disease.” Strong, passionate women like herself will make these fields so much better than they currently are. Seeing young girls become incredibly passionate about science and math makes me excited for their future. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I WANT to be in the science field and I wouldn’t let society or social norms prevent me from accomplishing what I want in life.

My plan for the future? I want to use my Environmental Science degree to work closely with organizations helping with conservation of marine life. I would one day love to work for the Environmental Protection Agency or NOAA. I have so many dreams and aspirations for my future. Being a woman scientist isn’t my weakness, it’s my strength. So if you’re reading this and you’re feeling anxious about being the only girl in your male dominated classes or field then just remember, you deserve to be there just as much as they do.