STEM has always been hot – but now it’s getting the attention it deserves. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies have been at the heart of technological innovation for years, but these specific disciplines are highly recognized as a propellant for creativity, discovery and invention.
It begins with curiosity, exposure, and exploration — and ends with discovery, innovation, and empowerment. The importance and influence of STEM studies simply can’t be overstated. As a global company that relies heavily on technological innovation as the foundation of our business, unequivocally supporting inclusion in STEM is imperative for SDI. Over the past 20 years, I have seen an explosion in the demand for IT staffing needs, particularly for technical services professionals who demonstrate proficiencies in data analytics, cybersecurity, and cloud architecture. And while many of these positions are eventually filled, they are often only by men. A dedicated approach to foster inclusion and close the gender gap in STEM participation would yield countless engineering, scientific, and technological resources. Early, recurring exposure and mentorship are two strategies that would ultimately expand critical 21st century skills among women, whether it’s for building rockets, erecting bridges, or designing video games.
Further: At home and in school, we must encourage curiosity in girls — curiosity about the world around us and how it works. With curiosity comes discovery, understanding, and knowledge. With knowledge comes power, and the power for women to take control of their lives, their businesses, and generate global innovation in technology and science. Mentoring and apprenticing may not appear to be particularly novel ideas, but effective mentoring can generate tremendous results. When young girls and women work closely with supportive, successful role models, they unlock opportunity otherwise thought off limits.
Not to mention defying gender stereotypes.