Recently, we celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Traditional participation of women in STEM fields is low. With women making up 47% of the U.S. work force, they only represent 26% of people who work in STEM fields. There are many organizations working behind the scenes to help correct this imbalance through mentorship, sponsorship and building confidence throughout the entire education system. We’re highlighting the work of some of these great organizations in helping to support women’s growing leadership in STEM fields.
The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCB) is working to improve the gender imbalance in STEM fields by uniting organizations and people that are passionate about building female confidence in these fields. They offer resources for kids in grades K-12 that include mentorship programs to introduce students to careers in STEM. For women out of high-school, the NGCB provides professional guidance and job training programs with a large network of professionals to increase career placement in STEM fields.
The Million Women Mentors (MWM) Project aims to give young women the courage to pursue their futures in STEM professions by pairing them with a male or female mentor in their field. This leads not only to higher STEM career placement, but it also encourages the breakdown of barriers that can make STEM fields difficult for women to enter and succeed.
Though the American Association of University Women AAUW has a much broader mission than STEM education, their branch for encouraging female STEM scholars and professionals is one of the most notable. The AAUW is one of the largest funders of graduate grants for women in STEM fields. Girls can check out their STEMPacks – which extends learning with experiments and programs that girls can complete on their own. The AAUW has partnered with major companies such as Clorox to create STEM curriculum that kids can download and participate in outside of their classrooms.
Scientista is an organization that specifically supports “pre-professional women” in colleges and universities who are interested in STEM fields. The organization has created a network of mentorship, conferences and career programs to help connect college women with the resources they need to succeed in the science and technology fields.
Young women and girls looking for role models in STEM fields should look no further than STEMINIST. This site serves to aggregate stories featuring women in STEM fields in order to encourage future generations of women and girls in these fields in which they’ve traditionally been underrepresented.
These organizations are working to encourage the success of girls and women in STEM fields. There are many ways to get kids (girls and boys) interested in STEM, from science themed toys to local clubs and organizations for STEM mentorship.