Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Girls on STEM: Survey Finds Girls are Interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Over the past 50 years, women in the U.S. have made incredible strides in non-traditional careers, but, unfortunately, we are still seeing disparities that hold us back.

A Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) study in 2012, “Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”, finds that despite these advances we are still seeing under representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math. Girls tend to lose interest in math and science abilities in middle school, and even if they do enjoy these subjects, they don’t often receive the encouragement to continue and excel.

The demand for qualified STEM workers is growing exponentially in the U.S. STEM jobs have grown three times the pace of non-STEM jobs in the past year, and this trend will only continue. Today, women only account for 20% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, and physics, and only 25% positions in STEM are held by women.

The good news is: GIRLS LIKE STEM! According to the GSRI survey, 74% of high school girls across the United States are interested in STEM. The study found that girls interested in these subjects are higher achievers, better students, and have stronger support systems, such as their families, friends, and mentors. In fact, 92% of girls surveyed believed that they were smart enough to have a career in STEM.

On Friday, December 4, we will be hosting our 19th Annual Breakfast Badge event at the Hartford Club where we will be honoring three outstanding women in STEM. The three honorees, Joanne Berger Sweeney, President of Trinity College, Manon Cox, President and CEO of Protein Sciences, and Kathy Kountze-Tatum, Senior Vice President and CIO of Eversource Energy are exemplary role models for our girls.

At Girl Scouts of Connecticut, we offer programming in robotics, rocketry, coding, financial literacy, and more. We make experiential learning in STEM fun. We strive to help girls achieve their dreams and help them know there is nothing that will hold them back. Women like Joanne, Manon, and Kathy prove just that. We recently called together a STEM Advisory Committee comprised of STEM leaders from throughout the state to help us to further focus our STEM programming and prepare our girls for successful STEM careers. 

We have confident girls all around us, and one of the best ways to help them achieve their goals is to show them that their dreams can be a reality. Celebrate the importance of helping girls to excel in STEM by joining us on December 4!

Yours in Girl Scouting, 

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