Little by little, the STEAM areas (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) have gained prominence in the development of societies, becoming the foundations of the main world economies. And not only that, everything suggests that they will continue to play an important role, at least in the short and medium term future.
The rise of STEAM is favoring the proliferation of new professional opportunities and that the demand for technological profiles by companies is also increasing. This would explain why more and more students are choosing to study technical careers , although the demand for these is below market needs in multiple sectors. However, when entering the classrooms where STEAM degrees or subjects are taught, we hardly found girls enrolled.
Today, International Women’s Day, we talk about women and STEAM, the reason for the gender gap in technical careers and what to do to fix it.
WHY ARE THERE FEWER WOMEN IN TECHNICAL CAREERS?
According to recent studies, female representation in degrees in Engineering and Experimental Sciences tends to revolve around:
- 24% Aerospace Engineering
- 20% Industrial Engineering
- 16% Naval, Marine and Nautical Engineering
- 14% Computer Engineering
- 10% Telecommunications Engineering
The existence of a gender gap in technology careers is more than evident, it is obvious. Why is this happening?
From an early age, both at home and at school, in society and in the media, the message is often transmitted to us that women, due to their nature, are “designed” to study Humanities or scientific disciplines related to Biomedical and Health , regardless of the area of ??knowledge that they really do well or have an interest in training. Meanwhile, of men it is said that their minds are better prepared to face more technical and industrial tasks.
These stereotyped (and erroneous) ideas usually have an impact on female students, leading them even to doubt their aptitudes and not be able to successfully pursue scientific-technological studies .
ABSENCE OF FEMALE REFERENTS IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
With some exceptions, many girls and adolescents do not have female figures in these 2 areas with which to identify themselves and that arouse their interest in technical careers , unlike what happens in other disciplines more related to culture (film, television, music, etc.).
This is mainly due to the invisibility that women scientists have suffered throughout history, a situation that is still in force today. Although his achievements have been numerous and very important, especially in Technology and Computing, many of them do not appear in the books or go unnoticed by the media. Not to mention when these milestones are attributed to their male “colleagues”
HOW TO PATCH THE GENDER GAP?
If we want to avoid this gender gap that exists in technology careers and professions, it is essential to bet on an inclusive and diverse education.
Today, International Women’s Day, we propose a series of actions that can contribute to the construction of an equal future:
- Break with the clichés that there are “men’s and women’s” careers and professions. And in the case that concerns us here, stop masculinizing the areas of TECHNOLOGY and Engineering.
- Talk more and better about the positive aspects of studying or working in STEAM: a prestigious, attractive environment with good career opportunities.
- Make known women scientists , even those closest to us (family, friendship, neighbor, partner, etc.), so that girls and adolescents have feminine references that serve as inspiration.
- Promote scientific and tech female empowerment .