Why Middle Childhood Girls Need STEM Female Role Models of Diversity?
In Africa, it's commonly seen that a single income is not enough to support the whole family's necessities and children's education. Getting more women in the workforce is the key to solving this problem.
According to the latest United Nations statistics, the largest youth population aged under 18 is in Africa, where the difference is less obvious on gender, making it the "greenfield" with high potential to show the needs and values of women in STEM and eliminate the gender gap. Moreover, people from all walks of life have recognized that the whole economy needs women to bring their perspectives to forge an inclusive world.
More specifically, it's significantly essential to encourage more women worldwide to be part of the technology industry as diverse female role models can effectively impact the younger generation.
That is to say, encouraging more African women to choose a STEM degree and career is not only beneficial to Africa but to the entire business environment. They can be the new STEM female role models of diversity, raising awareness of the importance of Quality Education, one of the mutual 17 United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
Middle Childhood girls begin to have a deeper understanding of the importance of empathy. And that's the mission and values of putting African young girls and women under the spotlights in gender gap elimination.
The latest Tech environment worldwide
Nothing can stop the massive deployment of 5G worldwide in the need of technology development and acceleration.
Taking the lead in ICT and 5G development and applications, China has started producing 1,000 RMB 5G Smartphone to meet the demand of the global market at full blast. Thanks to the vast investments in ICT, accompanied by Big Data, AI, 5G, and IoT, various industries and services are booming up with a new horizon in China, from E-commerce to Robotics, Health Cares to Autonomous Cars, covering all areas in all aspects of life.
Although 4G is still needed to carry out much of the data, 5G should be the primary focus as a universal technology, according to the speech given by Dr. Mohamed Madkour, Huawei's VP for Global Wireless Networks Marketing and Solutions at the Wireless Foundation Summit Shanghai 2021.
To maximize 5G's potentials and values, we need more young professionals with a STEM background, including men and women, to leverage the 5G ecosystem all over the world.
The global EdTech industry and STEM education environment
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science organized its 6th Assembly in the United Nations Headquarters virtually. The Panel Girls in Science aims to inspire young girls with leadership role models in Science to stand up for equality, and Equality in Science for Society highlighted the purpose of technology by emphasizing the importance of sciences and humanities.
Since 2009, the United States has launched several policies to support STEM education nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In China, in addition to the massive support from the central government, "tiger moms" are spending big on STEM learning, including sending kids to get early STEM-trained or creating a dynamic STEM learning (playing) environment with various STEM-related toys at home.
It's indeed an exciting moment that the world has sensed the great significance of the initiatives:
- Toys companies strive to design and upgrade more new STEM toys to appeal to today's young girls, such as child-focused magnetic building tiles, making STEM learning resources more accessible to every child, poor or rich.
- Schools provide equal access to learning resources for both girls and boys, showing gender equality in front of them.
- More and more project-based STEM program campuses and experimental schools were set up to enhance their fundamental skills (creativity & innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication & collaboration).
- Google and Microsoft open STEM-related positions for women and encourage young girls to pursue a STEM career.
- Acer joined the force with its Make Your Mark Campaign, aiming to spotlight the female role models to inspire more of them to influence the next generation.
- IWD 2021 #ChooseToChallenge spread around on social media to challenge stereotypes and call out gender bias.
From organizations to individuals, it's imperative for all of us to take concrete and effective actions to influence our young girls from a global mindset. The purpose behind it is to inspire them to believe, help them build confidence to pursue what they believe, break the old beliefs, broaden their visions, and shape their values.
Driven by a stronger desire, their confidence would motivate them to tackle all the challenges throughout a life-long STEM education and career journey. That's the reason parents and everyone around them should seize the last chance to support them ignite a STEM passion at the Middle Childhood stage.
As a result, Gender Equality and Quality Education are no longer for an individual country to achieve only, but for the whole society. They matter to every continent, every nation, and every one of us, driving us to unite together to improve gender parity in the global STEM workforce.
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