By: Rachel Auslander
When you think of famous scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, how many women do you think of? Not a lot, right? It’s kind of obvious how women are majorly underrepresented in STEM fields today. In fact, women only make up a quarter of the STEM workforce, although about 60% of college graduates are girls. The number of girls going to college and succeeding has increased, so why hasn’t the amount of girls involved in science and math fields increased as well?
Today, many girls look up to and are inspired by loads of actresses, athletes, authors, and artists. Something missing from that list is famous women in STEM. Mainstream media does not place a spotlight on women scientists, and for that matter, also deprecates smart and strong women. Therefore, girls cannot easily find a STEM role model, unlike how they can find role models for sports or the arts. Without someone to look up to, it’s difficult to envision yourself in a career.
There are strong women in the STEM fields, but they’re just not currently well known. However, Ted Talks feature kids and teenagers with an interest in STEM. Teen Vogue has one web article featuring female teen scientists. This is a start for bringing attention to girls in STEM and creating future role models.
If women in STEM are brought to prominence, many girls could find a new passion. It’s so important to get teenage girls interested in this, because we are the next inventors, the next doctors, and most importantly, we are the future. Without us, the STEM field will continue to be dominated by males. With us, cures for diseases could be found or the next big technology could be created. Since the media helped cause the gender gap in STEM, they should be part of the solution.