The STEM Gap; The development of world-class talent in science

Written By: / Career Guidance and Education / Tuesday, 20 September 2022 17:06

It is a universally accepted reality that girls and women are systematically tracked away from science and math throughout their education, limiting their access, preparation and opportunities to go into these fields as adults. In virtually every realm of society, women’s contributions have historically either been deterred or ignored.
For long, nations have attempted to draw more women to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Women are notoriously under-represented in these critical fields. For what happens when the female perspective is lost in science, consider that the symptoms of heart attacks widely disseminated are based on research of male subjects. Women make up only 28% of the workforce in STEM and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college. The gender gaps are particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, like computer science and engineering.
That symptoms for women are different has only come to be discussed in recent years. STEM fields globally are still male-dominated, and the women who do work in those fields don’t always get the recognition that they need. This makes it harder for younger women and girls, buffeted by cultural and societal pressures, to pursue careers in these fields. Add to that stereotypes that women’s brains are not wired for the hard sciences, and it is no surprise that the few women who do choose the field struggle to remain there. Supporting women STEM students and researchers should not only be an essential part of India’s strategy to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world; it is also important to women themselves. Women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations and experience a smaller wage gap relative to men. And STEM careers offer women the opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation. Increasing opportunities for women in these fields is an important step towards realizing greater economic success and equality for women across the board. On the brighter side, technology firms in India have a better female to male staff ratio than the tech giants of Silicon Valley.
Female role models could be having a positive influence. The relatively high proportion of women in technology roles in India is an encouraging factor, not just in India, but world-wide. There have been focused efforts by the government, industry and academia towards attracting and retaining girls and women in STEM. But a lot is yet to be done in this regard.
The development of world-class talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is critical to India’s global leadership. It is imperative that the government understands that fostering an open and diverse scientific community that draws from an array of unique experiences and viewpoints is a necessary step to realizing this goal. In this context, it is imperative that a course correction takes place.

About the Author

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg is a regular contributor of Imphal Times, mostly related with Education. Vijay is a resident of Street Kour Chand MHR Malout-152107 Distt Sri Muktsar sahib Punjab. Vijay Garg, Ex.PES-1 is a retired Principal from Government Girls Sen Sec school Mandi Harji Ram Malout -152106 Punjab. He is also the author of Quantitative Aptitude, NTSE , NMMS, Mathematics of XII, ICSE numerical physics and chemistry many more books.

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