We’ve all heard it before — #womeninSTEM, bridge the gap. It’s no surprise, after all, that’s what All Girls STEM Society believes in! But why is it so important to advocate for women in STEM and bridge this gap? Well, in 2020, as reported by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women still continue to makeup only 28% of the STEM workforce, despite being 50% of our nation’s population. Not only that, but despite the upward trend in lucrative and highly sought after STEM fields such as computer science, the gender wage gap between men in women is more prevalent than ever.
And that’s another reason why advocating for female involvement in STEM even at young ages is so important — the gender wage gap is STILL a big deal! One would hope that in 2023, we shouldn’t have to be worrying about such a systemically sexist issue, yet women are still, on average, earning only 82% of what their male counterparts earn (PEW Research Center, March 2023). Furthermore, 50% of US adults agree that the reason the gender wage gap is still very much prevalent is because of the way women are viewed in the workforce (PEW Research Center, March 2023). These harmful perspectives not only disproportionately harm women of color, but also women who are in STEM fields, a traditionally male dominated workforce.
So, how are organization such as AGSS doing their part to combat these challenges? By exposing young girls do fun opportunities and activities in the STEM fields, we encourage girls to get involved as early as possible! Whether it be candy DNA or block programming, offering girls different outlets and opportunities to explore STEM in contexts often not seen or feasible at school can be an incredibly enriching experience. Speaking from personal experience, had my parents not guided me (or in my elementary school eyes, forced me) to do robotics, I never would've realized that there was so much more to computer science than just sitting in front of a computer, multicolored words on the screen. We aim to help girls build confidence in these STEM skills, skills that will be helpful regardless of what path they continue on --- although, totally no bias, but we'd love for you to continue and explore the world of STEM ;)