Women

CAN MENTORSHIP PROGRAMS INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN IN STEM?

A woman attends a buildOn Adult Literacy class in Nepal

Women, who represent over half of the world’s population, have long been underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions. In fact, only 28 percent of scientific researchers worldwide are women. What can we do to encourage more girls and women to pursue careers in STEM? It turns out mentoring could play a major role in how female students perceive STEM subjects and jobs.

Only four percent of female students interested in pursuing STEM were encouraged to do so by a mentor, but research shows that mentoring can help protect female students against negative stereotypes and give them a sense of belonging.

In a recent study at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, researchers recruited 150 women who had enrolled in engineering courses and randomly assigned them to a female mentor, a male mentor or no mentor. A year later, the researchers found that students paired with female mentors felt more accepted by their peers, less invisible and more confident. If those findings aren’t enough, read these accounts of how female mentorship has helped these women in technology grow their careers.  As one of the women interviewed explains, “one of the biggest challenges for women is having the confidence to enter into leadership roles or entrepreneurship. That’s where role models come in – it’s good to see people’s career road maps.”

At Teza Technologies, Misha Malyshev and team are working to provide positive role models for children interested in pursuing careers in STEM.

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FROM ROBOTS TO RACECARS: HOW THE GIRL SCOUTS ARE WORKING TO DRIVE STEM EDUCATION

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A photo from Girls Do Hack sponsored by Teza Technologies and Misha Malyshev

In the United States, science, technology, engineering and math fields are projected to grow by 18 percent by next year; this is twice as fast as other fields, which are only projected to grow by nine percent in the same timeframe. However, by 2018, it is estimated that 2.4 million STEM jobs will go unfilled. What can we do to encourage more young people to pursue careers in STEM? Research shows that early education plays a key role – in fact, data reveals that 78 percent of college students in STEM majors wanted to study STEM in high school or earlier and 21 percent decided in middle school or earlier.

That’s why we’re so excited about the Girl Scouts’ new initiative to encourage STEM learning from an early age. The organization recently introduced 23 new STEM badges, including robotics, coding and racecar design. What’s more, the new CEO Sylvia Acevedo has been a vocal STEM education advocate. “There’s no way that we’re going to close [the gender gap in STEM] in the United States without tapping into the great resources of girls and young women,” Acevedo explained in a recent CNBC interview. We’re glad to see the Girl Scouts underscoring the importance of STEM education.

Misha Malyshev and the rest of the Teza Technologies team are working to inspire children of all ages to pursue careers in STEM education through the support of organizations like After-School All-Stars.

LOOKING FOR A WAY TO INSPIRE GIRLS TO PURSUE STEM? TRY HISTORY

A woman attends a buildOn Adult Literacy class in Nepal

WHY ARE SO FEW WOMEN AND GIRLS PURSUING CAREERS IN STEM?

Women and girls have been historically underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). A study from the University of Pittsburgh, tracking approximately 1,500 college-bound students over a decade, found that women had the highest scores on both the math and the verbal portion of the SAT. However, these women were more likely to pursue non-STEM careers after graduation despite their high scores. What can we do to encourage young women to pursue STEM?

THE IMPORTANCE OF ROLE MODELS

It turns out role models could be a key issue when it comes to women’s and girls’ lack of interest in STEM. A recent study focused on engineering students found that female students paired with female mentors felt more motivated, less anxious and were less likely to drop out of their courses. When it comes to raising visibility and fostering a sense of solidarity, a focus on the rich history of women in STEM can be a key tool for parents and teachers looking to inspire young girls to pursue STEM. From the film Hidden Figures’ focus on NASA’s forgotten women, to articles highlighting the myriad contributions women have made to STEM fields, highlighting the work of women who shattered the glass ceiling can be a powerful way to foster young girls’ interest in STEM.

Through the support of organizations like After-School All-Stars, Misha Malyshev and the Teza Technologies team have helped to inspire all children to pursue careers in STEM.

HOW CAN WE SUPPORT THE NEXT GENERATION OF FEMALE CODERS?

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.

HOW CAN WE SPOTLIGHT WOMEN IN STEM?

A woman attends a buildOn Adult Literacy class in Nepal

The gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) starts young – a recent survey found that young girls become interested in STEM subjects around the age of 11, but quickly lose interest by age 15. By the time young women reach college, only 6.7 percent graduate with STEM degrees, compared to 17 percent of men. While there are undoubtedly many factors influencing young girls’ decision to shy away from STEM, lack of female role models has been cited as a key issue.

That’s what makes several recent projects focused on spotlighting the important contributions of women in STEM so exciting. New magazines showcasing female scientists,  Google phone cases  honoring the American space program’s leading women, and LEGO’s women of NASA set all underscore the important role women have played throughout STEM history.  These and other initiatives highlighting STEM’s female superstars will continue to play an important role when it comes to inspiring women and girls of all ages to pursue careers in these fields.

ASAS Hour of Code

Through the support of organizations like After-School All-Stars, Misha Malyshev and the Teza Technologies team are working to inspire tomorrow’s STEM stars.

THE WOMEN OF NASA: NEW LEGO SET CELEBRATES THE HISTORY OF WOMEN IN STEM

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Americans have made great strides over the past few years to encourage more young girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). But the fact remains that while women make up 47 percent of the total U.S. workforce, they are still underrepresented in STEM fields. Women comprise 39 percent of chemists and material scientists, just 28 percent of environmental scientists and geoscientists and only 16 percent of chemical engineers.

Research has shown that fostering an interest in STEM needs to begin at a young age. That’s why we’re so excited about this recent line from LEGO – “Women of NASA”. By featuring some of NASA’s most famous women, including luminaries such as Katherine Johnson and Sally Ride, NASA isn’t just acknowledging the important role these women have played in NASA’s history, they’re also providing important inspiration for young girls and boys who may be interested in pursuing STEM careers. Bravo!

At Teza Technologies, Misha Malyshev and team are working to inspire children of all ages to pursue careers in STEM through the support of organizations like After-School All-Stars.

WHAT IF WE TREATED FEMALE SCIENTISTS LIKE CELEBRITIES?

From buzz surrounding the new film about NASA’s female mathematicians Hidden Figures to discussions about the opportunities for women in data science, there has been a lot of great news about women in STEM lately. One of the most exciting pieces of news is General Electric’s new campaign focused on closing the gender gap. GE has promised to place 20,000 women in technical roles by the year 2020, and is working towards equal gender representation in all of their entry-level technical roles. But our favorite part of this campaign is this inspiring commercial focused on female scientists – “What If Scientists Were Celebrities?

Misha Malyshev

When it comes to inspiring young girls and women to pursue careers in STEM, representation in films, television and other forms of popular media is essential. We applaud GE’s campaign to highlight the (often untold) stories of women in STEM. At Teza Technologies, Misha Malyshev and the rest of our team are working to inspire young children to pursue careers in STEM by supporting incredible organizations like After-School All-Stars and the Adler Planetarium.

A Look at Why Women in STEM are Switching Careers

The science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields have historically been dominated by men. Although there are increased numbers of women working in STEM, there continues to be a lack of female representation. It was reported earlier this year that women comprise of just 28 percent of employed science and engineering professionals.

Why Women Leave STEM

For the women that go on to pursue careers in STEM, more than half leave them within a decade, which is close to twice the frequency of men in those fields. There have been many different reasons that have been introduced in regards to this occurrence, one being a difference in values between men and women. Whereas men focus more on short-term items such as cost reduction, hierarchy, and resource constraints, women value accountability, balance, continuous improvement, coaching/mentoring and empowerment. Although men also find bureaucracy and hierarchy to impede their achievement, they are more likely to endure the dissatisfaction and continue working. Women, on the other hand, tend to leave for another career when they encounter unnecessary obstacles in their work.

Another reason associated with women leaving STEM jobs is sexual harassment. This is more prevalent in Silicon Valley, where 60% of women have reported being the target of unwanted sexual advances from a superior and 90% have witnessed sexist behavior at company offsites and/or industry conferences. More statistics from the report can be found here.

Additionally, there is the perception that women do not have the traits needed to succeed in science. In a study done by Wellesley College, women were viewed as having communal characteristics such as caring and unselfish, whereas men were associated with agentic characteristics including competitiveness and courageousness. The study revealed that people tend to associate scientists with agentic characteristics and that women appear to be incompatible with science. These cultural stereotypes are creating barriers for the women of today and future generations of women that aspire to be engineers or scientists.

Shaping the Future of Girls in STEM

In recent years, there has been a push for not only increased STEM programs in schools, but also programs tailored to girls to peak their interest and open their eyes to new opportunities. Misha Malyshev and employees from his company, Teza Technologies, support many organizations including buildOn, Adler Planetarium, After-School All-Stars and After School Matters that provide programs that inspire young children to dream of being future engineers or coders. Such programs include Girls Do Hack, Hack Day, Noble STEM Expo, Hour of Code, STEM CampUs, and Junior Research Scientists. Throughout the programs, girls can gain confidence by supporting each other, build a network of peers and find mentors/role models. It’s through these and similar programs where they hopefully begin to break through barriers – where their thoughts are heard, their actions are admired and they are no longer looked upon as inferior.

Math Awareness Month Looks to the Future – What Will Be the Future of Women in Mathematics?

Yogi Berra, paraphrasing Niels Bohr, said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” In celebration of Math Awareness Month, Math Aware and the American Mathematical Society are bringing attention to the study of mathematics. This year’s theme is The Future of Prediction, which will focus on exploring how mathematics and statistics contribute to the future.

More than ever before, girls are studying science and math. However, the same pattern has not transitioned to the workforce. According to CNN, women in STEM fields saw little to no employment growth between 2000 and 2014. Additionally, the number of women in computing and mathematics occupations has not achieved the same growth as women in science and engineering occupations. From 1990 to 2013, the percentage of women in computer and mathematical occupations fell from 35 percent to 26 percent. This has led to an increased lack of female representation in mathematics, especially among minorities.

 

 

The percentage of women in science and engineering steadily increased from 1990 to 2013, however, the percentage of women in computer and mathematical occupations decreased 11 percent over the same period.

The percentage of women in science and engineering steadily increased from 1990 to 2013, however, the percentage of women in computer and mathematical occupations decreased 11 percent over the same period.

 

Research shows that girls show the same amount of interest in math and science as boys do up until middle school, at which point girls begin to lose interest. CNN reached out to women entrepreneurs and executives in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields to gain their perspectives on the lack of girls pursuing STEM careers. Most of the women stressed the importance of introducing girls to STEM early by connecting them with mentors in the field and providing technical workshops that will help them realize their potential in STEM careers.

This insight, however, is not only being recognized by women. With society’s pressure to close the gender gap in STEM occupations, an increased number of initiatives have been created to entice and harness interest in science and math among girls. These initiatives include a variety of programs, workshops and camps that connect young girls with women in the STEM field to engage in hands-on activities.

Throughout his many philanthropic endeavors, Misha Malyshev, CEO of Teza Technologies, has displayed his passion for creating educational opportunities for women and minorities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. He understands the importance of introducing these subject areas to girls at a young age in the hopes that they will grow into leaders in their industry. Each year, Misha sponsors events such as Girls Do Hack and Civic Hack Day that teach girls about STEM careers. It is these programs and similar ones that open doors, create learning opportunities and motivate groups of young girls to discover their passion, leading to a strong foundation of women mathematicians, scientists and engineers in the future.

 

Misha Malyshev Has Latest Column Published by Smart Business Chicago

Misha Malyshev has contributed a series of columns to Smart Business Chicago in 2014, with the latest being published on Thursday. In the column, Malyshev brings to light some alarming facts about women in the technology sector.  For example, as of 2012, women held only 27% of the computer and information systems management jobs and make up only 26% of the computer and mathematical workforce.

Malyshev writes of removing the “nerd stigma” that exists in young girls and even adds:

“My daughter receives just as many physics lessons as fairy tales for bedtime stories.”

Malyshev goes on to discuss looking beyond the classroom with after school activities to promote STEM as well as with mentorship in the workplace.

“Today’s technology companies must find a way to encourage all talented individuals to engage in those fields that are vital for social development and economic growth. Technology business leaders should explore these and any other means to educate, recruit, cultivate and retain a gender-balanced workforce.”

Misha Malyshev’s full column.