How can we empower girls in STEM?

How can we empower girls in STEM?

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Empower Girls in STEM

Girls have the caliber to excel in any field, including STEM (Science Technology Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. Getting these opportunities within education can support their academic development and increase the number of job opportunities in the future. However, due to various factors, the representation of girls in STEM is a major issue. 

In India, there is a huge gap between women graduates and women professionals in STEM fields. According to a report, about 43% of STEM graduates in India are women, which is the highest in the world, but their share in STEM jobs is a mere 14%. This indicates that there are many barriers and challenges that prevent women from pursuing and sustaining careers in STEM.

By providing girls with more opportunities, resources, tools and inspiration, we can help them realize their potential and achieve their goals in STEM fields. 

Here are some ways in which STEM learning can benefit girls:

1. Encourage them to opt for STEM education and careers

The basic way to empower girls is to encourage them to pursue education and careers in STEM fields. They can reflect on the importance and impact of STEM professionals on society and its development. Encouraging girls to participate in STEM-related camps, workshops and events is an effective way to spark their interest in this field and increase their participation.

2. Provide them with support to develop interest

Girls need a supportive environment in STEM where they feel valued and supported. They should be provided with an inclusive environment that allows them to work with other groups of like-minded individuals. All the necessary resources and technology should be made available to them so that they can explore their interest in STEM. Providing these types of support can lead to generating more interest in STEM.

3. Terminate stereotypes and biases

Stereotypes and biases always hinder growth and can limit opportunities for girls in STEM. For example, in India, only 14% of women STEM graduates are employed as scientists, engineers and technologists in research development institutions. The main reasons for this gap are lack of mentorship, gender bias, family responsibilities and social norms that discourage women from pursuing careers in STEM.

Breaking these stereotypes is necessary and important by providing correct information about STEM and the available scope. It can be achieved by showcasing successful women who have excelled in the same field, acting as motivation for upcoming generations. This can help in tackling challenges and breaking down stereotypes and biases.

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4. Provide scholarship and financial support

The availability of financial aid and scholarships has a significant impact on the participation of girls in STEM. It reduces the burden of financial issues related to education. For example, the British Council STEM Scholarships 2023-24 have been announced for women scholars who want to pursue higher studies or research in STEM fields at UK universities. The scholarships aim to enhance careers in STEM for the scholars and enable them to promote research and innovation in their country through the exposure of their expertise. The platform also connects candidates through a strong and growing alumni network, keeps them informed of India-UK STEM developments, and serves as an inspiration for future generations of women to take up science.

Providing such financial support in India can encourage more girls to enroll in higher education in STEM. It also increases opportunities for girls from diverse backgrounds to participate and represent themselves in STEM. This is only possible when financial aid is made accessible to them.

Empowering girls in STEM is important and giving them the confidence that they have equal opportunities to pursue education in STEM. Providing access to education and career opportunities, showcasing female role models, eliminating stereotypes, and providing financial support can empower girls in STEM. This will increase the chances of representation of girls in STEM.