On 20th June I worked with year 10 girls from Wellington High School to explore what it means to be a scientist/engineer, what influences our perceptions of them, and to help these girls see themselves in STEM jobs and roles that align with their self identity using WISE Campaign’s People Like Me resource.
Science and maths are gateway subjects for young women, helping to keep their options open – but they need to know what options are actually available to them. This STEM immersion day organized by Penny Hale is a great piece of the puzzle, as is the visibility of women further down the path in STEM careers.
When these young women are told that there are no jobs in engineering and believe you have to have an Einstein-level IQ to be in STEM, it is no wonder we have a gender equity problem in engineering. It starts so young, so our industries need to work together to address this complex and insidious problem.