Empowering Girls in STEM
Last updated: March 7, 2022, at 4:28 p.m. PT
Originally published: March 17, 2021, at 11:09 a.m. PT
“Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.” – Sally Ride, First American Female to go to Space
Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 28% of the science and engineering workforce. There are several reasons that contribute to this discrepancy including a lack of pre-college experience, stereotypes (social bias and sexism) that dissuade female participation in STEM-related activities, lack of role models, according to a University Washington study. The overall most powerful impact, the researchers conclude, is a “masculine culture” that makes many women feel like they don’t belong.
At the Y, we want to promote and encourage the presence of females in this ever-growing field. A few ways you can bring STEM to your own home:
- Check out some great books that feature women in STEM, written by women. Here is a list of our favorites:
- Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
- Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
- Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and Laura Freeman
- The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
- Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang
- The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
- Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins
- Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
- Radioactive! How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling
- Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs
- Do some cool STEM experiments at home! Here are a few we enjoy:
More information and resources:
- Keeping Girls in STEM: 3 Barriers, 3 Solution
- 5 Ways to Get Girls into STEM
- Why are there so few women in STEM?
- Why do some STEM fields have fewer women than others?
- 8 Ways to Get More Girls Involved in STEM That Really Work