Young girls know now more than ever that they can be whatever they want. Academics, nonprofits, tech professionals, universities, and the girls themselves have collectively worked hard to increase representations of women in tech and reduce limitations for women to study science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM.) However, there is still a gender gap when it comes to women who work in STEM. There are fewer women now working in STEM sectors than there were in 1984!
Though jobs in STEM are some of the fastest-growing in the county and the highest paid, young women and girls aren’t choosing the tech path. The facts are bleak.
- 18% of computer science graduates are women
- 37% of girls report being encouraged to pursue computer science
- The number of women who work as software engineers has only grown 2% in the last 21 years
- 1/3 of girls think computer science is important to learn
Those young women who do choose to pursue a degree in the STEM field end up dropping out at a much higher rate than young men.
As an inclusive software company whose values are passion, innovation, and caring, it is natural for our employees to support girls and women in STEM. That is why Senior Implementation Specialist, Kristin Vrana, chose Girlstart to give her Beck Tech Cares donation this month.
Girlstart is a Texas-based organization working to “increase girls’ interest and engagement in STEM.” They provide free after-school programs, summer camps, hold a yearly conference, and offer community education programs.
Through our Beck Tech Cares initiative, every month, one employee is chosen to pick a charity, organization, or non-profit of their choice to donate funds. These nominations are given throughout the month by team members via a virtual high-five system. High-fives are given to anyone that demonstrates one or all of our core values. From these nominations, leadership picks one person’s organization in which Beck Technology donates.
Kristin says, “Historically, young women haven’t been encouraged to develop and/or pursue interests in STEM which can limit career options and opportunities and learning potential as an adult. Organizations like Girlstart focus on increasing interest in STEM topics in young girls. Prior to having kids, I volunteered for Girlstart. I plan to volunteer again when life calms down a bit. And I also plan on sending my 8-year-old to their STEM camps when she’s old enough.”
Besides helping end the stereotype that girls aren’t “good” at science and math, encouraging girls and women to pursue studies in the STEM field:
- Gives them better problem-solving skills
- Increases representation of women in medical research
- Can make companies more successful
- Boosts the economy
- Helps develop better-coping skills
Girlstart afterschool programs operate in 23 districts across Texas and over 850 girls attend summer camps in California, Washington, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Massachusetts.
To help send a girl to STEM summer camp, click here.