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How to attract more women into STEM courses?
Mar 30, 2019
By: Student Contributor, University Blog Team
The ratio of women to men in the STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics) courses show that not many women are taking up these areas of study. The reasons might be multi-fold, however, collective efforts on the part of parents, educational institutions and recruiters can help change the scenario.
Here we will list reasons that can help attract more women into STEM courses:
- Early exposure : Schools must partner with companies and organise workshops, talks and field visits for students. A year or two before their boards when most students are not certain on their subject of interest and career path, this exposure will help them understand the field better. They will learn about the opportunities that are available. Talks by achievers in the field will help students make their choices accordingly.
- Scholarship/ Internship opportunities : Industries must partner with schools, colleges, and universities to provide scholarships, internships and other programs that will help young women pursue STEM education and careers. This will help attract more women in STEM positions.
- Government initiatives : Schools play a vital role in framing students interests. The process of attracting young women into STEM courses can be made easier with government backing. Incentives to schools that develop programs to promote STEM education for a young woman can help reduce the huge gap in numbers opting for STEM courses.
- Inspire teaching methodology : Educational institutions must provide opportunities for teachers to visit companies and connect with women in STEM careers. This will completely change the teaching methodology they adopt while promoting STEM material.
- Equal recruitment opportunities : Hiring women for STEM positions is the first step to what should be a long & fulfilling career. The disparity in the recruitment process is one of the key reasons for women not willing to opt for a career in STEM. Thus, employers need to do more to make their approach to recruitment and retention more female-friendly.
- Pay parity : The pay parity issue is not restricted to STEM careers only, however, the disparity is most prominent here. This is one of the chief reasons for the miniscule representation of women in STEM careers. The onus to attract more women into these fields lie on the organizations. They must design their policies whereby women are given equal pay and are provided with female-friendly work environment.
- Career Discovery Programmes : Universities must organise career discovery programmes for female students that will allow them to explore their potential, curiosity, and passion for innovation.
There is a need for diversity in tech, we must create an atmosphere in these male-dominated fields where women belong.