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No one doubts that in order to sustain 21st century lifestyles, technology, and science play a major role. STEM education is a new trend that emphasizes teaching in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a unified manner. Many professors and politicians have noted that the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have remained mostly male with short partaking among women. Across regions, women accounted for less than a third of those employed in scientific research and development around the world (Fisher et al., 2019, p. 20). Women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) more likely impact their decision to leave STEM careers; because of segregation, unfriendly male-dominated work atmospheres, unproductive decision-making feedback, and a lack of effective sponsors. Academics are exploring the several reasons for the continuous existence of this gender inequality in STEM fields. The solution to lower the lack of women’s in STEM jobs, government, business leaders and academic professionals must start by engaging more women now, and make it so that women work together. To achieve more improved and gender diverse STEM area requires the obligation and determination from parents, educators, and executive leadership worldwide leading STEM companies. To begin closing the talent gap, we must create an inclusive environment that facilitates greater engagement and retention of females in STEM. Government must make it a priority to eliminate favoritism and barriers, to deliver top-down support and institutional accountability. The United States must focus on providing greater mentorship for women in STEM, and ever more to raise the range of scores, because there’s much at stake not just for one company, but for the future of the STEM industry. Females participate in STEM education can be based on the women’s lack of support, education opportunities, and economic aspects.
First problem that female participants in the STEM related career face today is lack of support. Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) presents in-depth yet accessible profiles of eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers including stereotypes, gender bias, and the environment of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities that continue to block women’s progress in STEM (Pohl & Silverberg, 2013/2015, p. 100). Women in STEM education could develop their self-confidence in engineering, demonstrate creativity, innovative abilities, think critically, solve problems, make decisions, and follow their academic interests to a career in engineering; however, lack of female role models and mentoring, gender stereotyping, less family-friendly flexibility in the STEM fields. Also, organizations will need to address an overwhelming male centered culture that are barriers to women in STEM careers (Salehi, Holmes, & Wieman, 2019, p. 77). All along their STEM profession, women continue to face feelings of inadequacy: not fitting in. This experience includes: a feeling of not belonging there because of their gender; feeling that their success is not driven by real ability, despite their good performance. Therefore, from a lack of support and the feeling of segregation, females in STEM face plenty of challenges throughout the STEM related occupations, making them more at risk for dropping out of the STEM career (Solanki, McPartlan, Xu, & Sato, 2019, p. 27).
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Secondly, women in STEM fields can improve economic aspects within the country and the business industry. As the world transitions to an increasingly digital economy, closing the global gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is crucial to empowering women economically and addressing the shortage of qualified individuals needed to meet the growing demand of technology jobs (Fisher et al., 2019, p. 29). To address the global STEM gender gap, the United States government should continue supporting girls’ education and entry into STEM fields, at home and around the world. Increasing women’s participation in STEM careers also has the power to close the gender pay gap and boost women’s cumulative earnings by a several hundred billion dollars over the next ten years, expediting global economic development. Thus, women’s participation in STEM fields could outgrowth economic progress and promote gender equality worldwide (“STEM Education,” 2016, p. 15). Acknowledging that women’s participation in STEM jobs around the world advances the United States (U.S.) interests, government efforts are required to increase girls’ education and participation in STEM fields through international support and cultural exchange curricula. Therefore, participation of girls’ in STEM education grants an opportunity for the United States and other countries around the world to support economies for future generations. It is a smart, supportable investment that will endorse both gender equality and prosperity (Sullivan, Ballen, & Cotner, 2018, p. 129).
Finally, reaching a full potential in STEM education or in STEM-based professions creates role models for a future innovator. By helping STEM curriculums be taught to girl’s in the elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools will help them to develop STEM-based skills; which help them to solve real world problems. It helps younger girls to develop certain problem-solving skills, these problems require to work fast to make sense of problems as they are offered, and work effectively to propose real and proper solutions (Sullivan, Ballen, & Cotner, 2018, p. 12). Another set of skills that can be observed through STEM are creativity and inquiry skills. Creativity skills is based on multiple approaches, mistakes and failed attempts are positive experiences, offering opportunities for deeper learning. Inquiry skill attend to a problem on hand, to actively solve it, and should be asking the questions, suggesting the ideas, propositioning and testing solutions, and making decisions based on information to understand how to improve ideas further (Salehi, Holmes, & Wieman, 2019, p. 47). The science and mathematics skills that are taught in school are the foundation of STEM and must be applied in search of resolutions. The use of engineering-based thinking is vital in solving STEM problems. In this kind of thinking, you must recognize the problem at hand, research possible solutions, design prototypes, examine, redesign, examine again, and repeat these steps as needed; each step moves you closer to creating a functional solution. Effective STEM learning skills requires one to evaluate information, designs, create new ideas, and propose creative solutions (“STEM Education,” 2016, p. 50). All these skills are vital to becoming an independent, critical thinker.
Even though, there are several improvements in STEM gender discrimination, more needed to be improved, to help global economies. Women remain underrepresented in STEM areas, a gap that has a great concern between education activists and are currently the target of a million dollar push by the organizations and the United States government (Salehi, Holmes, & Wieman, 2019, p. 24). Despite increased attention and new initiatives, it remains a problem worldwide. Many institutes think that women lack the potential qualities essential to be a good scientist. Women are alleged to be primarily more sympathetic, and more supportive. On the other hand, men are seen as more independent, determined, and self-confident (Pohl & Silverberg, 2013/2015, p. 15). Female scientists are in need, even though the most common denial to gender diversity in STEM is that women opt-out of the sciences, because they lack ability or confidence. In fact, females who accomplish a lot in science and math courses are the ones most likely to leave; however, there are certain studies shows that women leave because they’re not paid or promoted within the company (Fisher et al., 2019, p. 79).
In conclusion, as stated earlier the solution to gender discrimination in STEM fields should be more concentrated on how to get these women to finish their degree and pursue the STEM-based jobs. The involvement of women in STEM fields is critical to the continuing competitiveness and sustainable progress of the American economy (Salehi, Holmes, & Wieman, 2019, p. 21). More than millions of jobs in the fields of computer sciences, mathematics, engineering, and sciences will need to be fulfilled by the year of 2022, and the demand for highly trained STEM workers will certainly continue to grow. In STEM professions underrepresentation of women is mostly because of their lower schooling rates in STEM fields of study. Only 6% of female graduates in 2013 were in STEM majors, compared to 20% of male graduates. Since STEM education also provides a useful background for non-STEM professions, and more than half of STEM graduates are in such positions, encouraging women to study STEM fields. Additional, government agencies, private corporations, and educational institutes giving an effort and investments to make the gender gap smaller in STEM fields. Schools must increase the exposure of girls to STEM topics at an early age, and more programs should be developed to engage young girls in experimental projects that demonstrate the power and impact of STEM ideas (Fisher et al., 2019, p. 115). Businesses should increase their efforts to employee women in STEM occupations, including increased mentoring curricula, a more wide-ranging corporate principles, and providing better assistances and work life stability programs.
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