Marguerita Cheng on the need for more women in STEM

 

 

Today, the number of women in medicine, arts and business are increasing, but women engineers and scientists are few. In my perspective, parents play a critical role in motivating their children to take up STEM courses. I am a mother of 2 girls and 1 boy. I am the eldest of 3 girls. My dad was a brilliant mathematician. Sometimes, he struggled when explaining complex topics, but kudos to my dad. He felt that math was essential for all children. We should be mindful of our communication since our children learn from us. In other words, we certainly don’t want to emphasize that we hate or fear math because our children learn from these cues.

 

For girls, in particular, it`s crucial they challenge themselves and enjoy learning, without measuring progress or success on test scores. As my eldest daughter so eloquently remarked, “Mom, I enjoy learning which is different from studying.” For girls, exposure to STEM increases their confidence and introduces their minds to new ideas.

 

I admit that I didn’t want my girls to be intimidated by math. My eldest daughter was able to earn money as a pre-calculus tutor. Her students were girls who felt comfortable and reassured when they could learn  from another girl. Sarina improved her mastery through teaching. She steers the girls’ code talk about how we don`t allow girls as many opportunities to take risks.

 

Need for more women in STEM

 

There is a need for more women in STEM because it exceeds simple diversity and takes charge of making useful and safe scientific innovations. Research has shown that gender parity in the workplace will escalate to $ 28 trillion to the annual global GDP by 2525. More diversity in STEM roles leads to positive progress.

 

During the WISE 2018 awards ceremony, HRH Princess Anne announced that UK plans to hire 1 million women. She emphasized that the goal is achievable if employees target to employ the 200,000 girls studying STEM subjects.

 

Considering the previous statistics in 2017 and 2018: the numbers of STEM girls employees increased from 864,000 to 908,000, which indicates that the target is achievable.

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, only 25% of workers on mathematical and computer occupations are women. In occupations such as engineering and architecture, women are 14%. Mathematical science occupations are expected to grow by 28% from today until 2024. The growth rate of women in STEM jobs is set at 13%, which can create half a million new jobs.

 

Why we need you to educate young girls on STEM careers?

 

STEM builds the confidence levels in young girls and encourages them to solve problems. The inclusion of women in STEM increases the diversity in the workforce and creates role models for young girls. It’s vital to ensure all children understand that  STEM does not only revolve around laboratories, technology companies, or research centers.

 

Think about simple ways of creating an engaging and supportive learning environment for your child. For instance, if your child is fond of Frozen or “Cinderella,” you can use the opportunity to educate her on carriage design or temperature. As a parent, you are the ideal role model for your child. If you’re interested in a particular subject, your kids may develop interest too.

 

Instill confidence in children

 

You can mold your kids for STEM careers by increasing their self-confidence. Do not focus on the outcome but on the process. Your kids’ happiness comes from pursuing their  passions and interests. Encourage them to pursue what they are excited about despite any hurdles. Focus on h trying new things, working hard, perseverance and learning from mistakes. Emphasize curiosity with word such as “Why?”, “How?” “What if?”  you tried thinking differently?

 

Diversity and inclusion are possible if children can be encouraged to pursue STEM careers. The way we communicate about math and science determines the way our children perceive the subjects. Positive interactions with inspiring role models and encouragement from parents can help girls to pursue STEM subjects and courses.

 

 

By Marguerita Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Ocean Global Wealth

 

 

 

 

 

 




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