Techbridge Girls: Paving the way for women in STEM

If I asked you to think of a famous scientist, who comes to mind? Albert Einstein? Stephen Hawking? Bill Nye the science guy? It’s likely that no matter who you thought of they have one thing in common: they’re a man.  There is a reason why your brain jumped to this conclusion: there simply just aren’t that many women scientists, but many are working to change that. 

 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 9.7 million jobs in the U.S. are in the science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field. In the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2018 report, researchers found that women only hold about 28 percent of all jobs in the science and engineering field, despite the fact that they make up around half of the entire college-educated workforce. 

 

Organizations across the country and the globe are working to bridge this gender gap in STEM occupations. 

 

Techbridge Girls is one of those organizations. They work to give all girls access to the resources needed to have a successful STEM career including technology, STEM teacher training, after-school programs, and a wide range of other resources. Techbridge Girls and other similar programs hope that these resources will help build a smoother pathway to a STEM career for all women often called the STEM pipeline.

 

This organization hopes that by providing these resources they will not only bridge the gender gap in STEM but also the issues of poverty and racial marginalization as an issue on the way to a successful STEM career. 

 

One way they are doing this is through establishing their STEM training programs as well as other resources at high-poverty schools which often have some of the highest percentages of African American and Hispanic students, according to the Techbridge Girls website. This gives those girls who may not have seen STEM as an option for them to have a hands-on connection to the field and build their confidence and interest so that they may seem themselves in the field someday. 

 

Techbridge Girls’ so-called STEM pipeline has proven to have positive results. According to Techbridge Girls’ Evaluation Report, their participants are more likely to “have a higher rate of graduation, have a higher overall GPA, and earn a college STEM degree (twice more likely than the national average).”

 

Techbridge Girls and other STEM pipeline programs hope to see these results translate into an increase of women in the ever-growing field. 

 

Maybe in ten years, with programs like these, I can ask you to name a famous scientist again, and the name you say will be a woman.