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  • Kristen Newsome

Girls in STEM: A Necessary Transition

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

The world is changing, in fact, it HAS changed. Are your children prepared for the future? Here is some vital information about changes in the current and future workforce that every parent, especially groups that are currently under-represented in STEM careers, should know.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers drive our nation’s innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries. However, U.S. businesses frequently voice concerns over the supply and availability of STEM workers. Sustaining our nation's position as a leader of innovation and cutting edge technologies will require contributions of every brilliant mind that imagines possibilities without limitations. Solving the world's problems now and into the future will require a diversity of ideas and creative innovation.

Over the past 10 years and projecting for the next 10 years, STEM jobs are expected to grow three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. STEM workers are also less likely to experience joblessness than their non-STEM counterparts. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and are a critical component to helping the U.S. win the future. We must engage all available brilliance to "make America great." The concern is the lack of engagemet of Black and Brown females in this mega growth industry. Look at the statistics and the disparity:

Women make up 28% of the current science and engineering workforce. Of this percentage, women of color comprise about 5%
26% of computing-related jobs are held by women. Just 3% of computing-related jobs are held by African-American women
2017–2018, women of color earned a small percentage (14.1%) of bachelor's degrees across all STEM fields, with African American women earning 2.9%
In 2016, Black students received just 6.2 percent of U.S. science and engineering bachelor’s degrees, down 16 percent from 2004 levels.
In California, 79.5% of Black students in public schools did not meet state standards of proficiency for math in all grade levels- 3 – 12.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, EEOC & US Dept of Labor

The intent of organizations such as My Sister's Keeper Success Institute, Inc. is to reform the narrative that young women of color have embraced as a fact: I don't belong in STEM professions. I'm not good at science and math. I'm creative and creativity is not scientific. Our purpose is to create mentoring relationships that defy the current messaging these girls have accepted, and expose the girls to new and exciting possibilities that create a different perspective around career interest and fit.

Women of color, and especially those who have historically been the most underrepresented, must take their seat at decision making tables and offer fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that will shape future technologies that impact the world by solving crucial problems. She can do it, and supportive industry mentors make the pathway to success a clear and definitive one. Connect to our community and inspire her for success!

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