Globally, the percentage of women undertaking their studies in STEM courses is considerably low. There exists a considerable imbalance in gender diversity when it comes to degree programs in engineering where the percentage of women engineers is dismal. Gender diversity is essential in all spheres of life. We require more women representation in science and its related fields. Fewer women participate in STEM courses, but the drop out cases are alarming since it is only a few who complete their studies successfully. There is a need to create programs that enhance the self-belief of women to encourage them to participate in STEM programs. This paper aims to discuss the need for having more women undertake programs in science and other related fields.
Gender biases are revealed in enrolment inequality and completion rates of students in STEM programs. Several factors contribute to the dismal percentage of women pursuing their studies in STEM courses. Negative perceptions such as gender stereotypes, the masculinity of the training and associated prejudices (Berwick, 2019). The number of women in these programs is low due to institutional limitations such as gender stereotyping and social-cultural barriers such as family obligations that negatively impact on the participation of women in STEM courses. Institutional stereotypes are mainly manifested through the content of the curriculum and general teaching structure.
Why We Need Women In STEM
The right to access to education is a fundamental human right that should be made equal regardless of gender. Equal access will empower women to pursue scientific and technological programs that will impact them with relevant knowledge and skills. It is crucial that the number of educated women is increased because then the pool of human resources will be widened. Having empowered women with relevant knowledge and skills will help to drive development and thus spur economic growth. Educated women will be empowered to help solve challenges such as eradicating poverty, boosting food security, and fighting diseases.
Women can contribute to major revolutionary and innovative ideas that have the potential to transform our society. Women account for slightly more than half of the world's population, and thus, they should be allowed to bring their perspective in shaping society (Williams, 2014). Increasing women participation in STEM programs will help to solve problems that afflict society. Several women engineers and innovators are innovating solutions to challenge that have faced women for a long time. Such technological innovations have helped to boost maternity programs and detect ailments such as ovarian cancer.
Initiatives and policy interventions are necessary to encourage more women to undertake STEM programs. Institutions of higher learning should strengthen mentoring efforts for female students in STEM. Suitable role models such as exemplary women who have excelled in pursuing scientific and technological courses should be tapped in to offer motivation and guidance to female students (Stofan, 2017). The government also needs to formulate policy interventions that promote equal access to education by reducing institutional limitations and social-cultural barriers.
In conclusion, empowered women have the potential to contribute to growth and development. Gender biases should be eliminated to provide opportunities for women to pursue scientific and technological courses. Encouraging more women to pursue STEM will have a positive impact in transforming society. The world would be a better place if more women were allowed to excel in previously male-dominated disciplines.
Berwick, C. (2019, March 12). Keeping Girls in STEM: 3 Barriers, 3 Solutions. Retrieved from Edutopia: https://www.edutopia.org/article/keeping-girls-stem-3-barriers-3-solutions
Stofan, E. (2017, November 03). Why we need more women in tech by 2030 - and how to do it. Retrieved from We Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/11/women-in-tech-engineering-ellen-stofan/
Williams, S. (2014, August 18). Why We Need Women in STEM. Retrieved from Inc.: https://www.inc.com/sue-williams/why-we-need-women-in-stem.html
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Essay on Women in STEM: A Low Representation and Alarming Drop-Out Cases. (2023, Jan 26). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/essay-on-women-in-stem-a-low-representation-and-alarming-drop-out-cases
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