Women in STEM fields are often at a professional disadvantage just by the way they are perceived. They are opposed when they voice their opinion, and often put down by peers despite their achievements and accomplishments. It is additionally hard to even get into STEM fields in the first place for women, though there are some little-known resources that young women can utilize to help them advance into these fields. It is incredibly important that young women going into college or a STEM career are knowledgeable on these recourses, so that they can gain the best experience upon entering their field, and lay the foundation for a happy and successful career.
Sacred Heart Academy has a fleet of strong and capable young women who should be given every opportunity to use their talents and hard work to go into fields involving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They do not need to struggle alone, however. They can use resources for a little help in leveling the playing field. For example, The Scientista Foundation supports women who are going into fields of technology or scientific advancement. The Scientista Foundation is meant to give role models, resources and support. For example, they host conferences where young women can discuss their struggles in such a male dominated field. This foundation was started by two sisters in 2011, who were studying together at Harvard. The Scientista Foundation is now the largest network of pre-professional women and connects women across campus lines in unity.
For women of color, sexism in STEM fields is even greater. Discrimination is especially severe against women who are African American, Indigenous American, or Hispanic. Women of color are constantly underserved, overlooked, and passed over for leadership positions, simply due to racism and sexism. The Society of STEM Women of Color seeks to combat this unfairness by providing women of color with the resources they are entitled to but are so often unfairly denied. The Society of STEM Women of Color provides non-white young women with having the ability to not be as academically and professionally put down and ignored by their peers. The Society of STEM Women of Color provides its members with networking among peers, mentorship programs, and scholarship opportunities. Networking among peers allows community to grow, mentorship programs give role models who can guide more inexperienced learners, and scholarship opportunities allow those who demonstrate exceptional merit to be fairly rewarded for their work.
Women in technological fields such as coding are not new, for example, Margaret Hamilton was responsible for directing software engineering for the Apollo 11 launch. However, only about 24% of professional coders are female. Of course, this is not because being a particular gender makes one better or worse at coding, it is because women face huge discrimination in their education and in their professional development, if they choose to pursue coding. The organization Girls Who Code works to empower young women of 13-17 who want to pursue coding in their education. They are working to close the gender gap in coding by 2030. Girls Who Code does more than just teach, they prepare young women to be leaders and authorities in the workforce, including college, summer and club programs.
These resources are all undoubtably valuable, and students should be fully aware that they have the option to take advantage of them. Sexism is all too common in the workplace, and so leveling the playing field with community and resources are invaluable. Student’s may turn to The Scientista Foundation for role models, The Society of STEM Women of Color for support among peers and networking, or Girls Who Code for leadership in technology. All of these resources can be used to give each young woman at SHA the best chance to overcome the adversity they will face professionally, personally, and in leadership. Links to these organizations are additionally included below, in sources.
For more information:
Home Page – Society of STEM Women of Color (sswoc.org)
Home | National Academies
Girls Who Code | Code At Home
5 female coders who changed the world | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)