WHY AREN’T MORE GIRLS INTERESTED IN STEM? ADVERTISING MAY BE TO BLAME
In the United States women earn 57 percent of all undergraduate degrees but only 18 percent of all computer science degrees—this is the smallest percentage across all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. What accounts for this gap? While a number of factors are likely at play, marketing and advertising play a key role in how young girls and women perceive STEM. Interestingly enough, the amount of women in computer science started falling with the rise of the affordable home computer – which were marketed almost exclusively to men and boys, and is a trend that continues today. A recent study found that STEM toys were three times more likely to be targeted at boys than girls.
DISRUPTING THE PINK AISLE
That’s why some recent STEM education news has us so excited! From toys focused on disrupting the “pink aisle” to the CEO of GM speaking out about the importance of women and girls gaining skills in STEM, we’re glad to see companies big and small placing an increased focus on the importance of gender equality. The drive to encourage girls to pursue STEM education and careers has even extended to Hollywood – Warner Bros. recently partnered with Google Play and Made with Code to create a Wonder Woman coding tutorial. These and other initiatives will play a critical role when it comes to inspiring the future generation of female coders.
At Teza Technologies Misha Malyshev and team have been working closely with organizations to encourage children of all ages to develop an interest in STEM through support of After-School All-Stars and other groups.