Can STEM Toys Close the Gender Gap in STEM Workforce?
Girls stop to pursue a degree or career in STEM areas primarily because it requires an interest in learning and an intense dedication to working. The current gender gap in the STEM workforce is mainly caused by a wrong perception that STEM is too difficult for girls, and there would be no job opportunities after graduation.
Currently, the situation is different thanks to the development and breadth of technology in the 21st century, making the resources more accessible to women while penetrating in all aspects of life. You might have noticed that the whole world has started to change and put a lot of efforts to encourage young women to work in the STEM industries. STEM women role models and female entrepreneurs worldwide have made a significant impact on empowering young women to gain the confidence to join the workforce working together with the STEM men.
What are the reasons behind this?
In our previous article, we mentioned one of the 17 United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) – Gender Equality, and explained the reasons behind it.
Today, we are going to continue the topic – women and girls in STEM.
1. Why Do We Need More Women in STEM Workforce?
Men have dominated the workforce in STEM fields for centuries, perpetuated by historical reasons and gender stereotypes.
Lacking the female role models, it's challenging to break this barrier. Even though we have made some progress in recent years with constant efforts for decades, there's still a long way to go to bring the balance back in the STEM workforce for all areas.
Along with the rapid economic growth, there are lots of job opportunities open for female employees. Women with STEM background and qualifications are in high demand at the moment and even more in the 5G era, from traditional industries to the newly established ones, such as Infrastructure, Transportation, Manufacturing, Health Care, Robotics, IoT, Space Exploration, Clean Energy, and many more.
On the other hand, gender-diverse teams usually make better decisions as women and men think differently, according to the speech given by Nora Denzel, a computer scientist with more than 20-year of working experience at three Fortune 500 enterprises. It makes incredibly huge different to have the same number of female employees in a team. Women provide ideas from a woman perspective for the same topics, product designs, issues, and solutions that men could miss and ignore.
Microsoft and Google are not alone to strive to break the gender barrier. Acer has joined the force with its Make Your Mark Campaign, aiming to empower more young girls to pursue a STEM degree and STEM career and inspire more of them to influence the next generation.
It's not difficult to see that women are in high demand to join the STEM workforce to bring their values and points of view to make the team more diverse, giving new and fresh concepts from a female's angle to make the products and designs more practical that might cover the needs and requirements for different types of customers and users.
2. Why Do We Need STEM Toys for Girls?
STEM workforce requires a solid educational background and qualifications in STEM. One can hardly manage professional or technical issues without STEM fundamental and knowledge. In that case, a STEM degree or certificate is one of the criteria and requirements for applying for a STEM-related position.
Surprisingly, nearly over 50% of the high school graduates will lose their interest in STEM classes, according to the U.S. Education Department, even though they show high interest in the first place, not to speak of girls.
It has become essential to find solutions to shatter this typical stereotype and inequality.
And that's one of the reasons we encourage our parents to inspire our boys, as well as our girls, with various STEM-related toys at an early age, such as construction building blocks, magnetic building tiles, magnetic construction tiles, and any inspiring toys. It's the golden age to raise our kids' awareness and curiosity, ignite a spark, cultivate interest, develop cognitive ability and capability, enhance critical thinking process, shape the mindset, and build their confidence with creativity in STEM through a dynamic and immersive learning environment.
Whether our boys and girls are going to pursue a STEM degree or career in the future, it should be the initial goals for them to gain these critical STEM skills, so that they will be ready to take the more challenging STEM curricula in junior and high school – the typical stage our girls quit their STEM classes, to adapt the rapid-changing world through their Adult Years.
And that's what our parents and everyone around them can do to support them in pursuing what our girls have in the minds and contribute to breaking the gender gap barrier in the workforce and eliminating gender inequality.
With this purpose in mind, we are dedicated to closing the gender gap in STEM education and career development together with the communities, organizations, STEM women, female entrepreneurs, and individuals in related.
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