I have seen in the past 20 years the growth of women in the technology industry. For a while I think there was a lull in women in technology because of the way society dictated life. Most girls were raised to ignore their curiosities about how things work, and why, and even veered away from industries that were in the technology fields and towards more "female" roles in business.
I think this growth of women in technology industries is due to a few factors. I have seen the awareness bring about many more opportunities that have opened up to females in these industries. I am seeing that the media is one of the big contributors to the awareness. A Verizon commercial, called "Inspire Her Mind", which debuted in June of 2014, explains that 66 percent of fourth grade girls like math and science, though only 18 percent of college engineering majors are female, according to the National Science Foundation.
(Girl Scouts introduces girls of every age to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experiences relevant to everyday life.)
I see that these opportunities are being offered to younger ages and more girls are being introduced to activities that are math, science, engineering and technology based, so why is it that the statistics in college are so low for females majoring in math, science,engineering, digital art & technology for women. The Verizon ad explains it by showing us that society may play apart in this slow down as our girls grow. Through out the commercial you see examples society playing into this slow down when phrases like , “Who’s my pretty girl,” “don’t get your dress dirty,” “be careful,” and “why don’t you hand that to your brother”, are used. In the commercial, these phrases are uttered as this young lady is showing curiosity and exploring her surroundings, but those around her tell her to be careful, let the boys do the messy, heavy work, and not to get sweaty and to be careful of her clothing. I believe phrases like this can discourage girls from continuing to pursue their interests in any field. It is important that we give our girls the opportunitiy and the availability to resources that emphasize women in engineering, as entreprenuers, or scientists and as strong woman in any case, and while they are young to get dirty, dig deeper and get into the mix of things as they explore. If they are exposed at younger ages they are able to read about, see and research these fields, and adding hands-on opportunities, they become more prepared and can be more confident in a career in these fields.
(An event at Bloomsburg University’s Regional STEM Education Center )
I believe opportunities being open to younger ages is a great start, but we must go to the source of how things get communicated. Those people in charge at these businesses and the leads in these departments need to make sure they step up and include more women in these technology industries. Men are mostly the ones in power in these fields, so it is important for them to communicate to everyone how vital the role of women in technology is. It would also be a great help if those in power target more women to fill positions that are math, science, engineering, digital art and technology based. Companies can also encourage and support programs that are being offered around them by sponsoring students that need the help to attend some of the opportunities offered. Companies can also donate, money, time, or materials to programs that are trying to reach out. Them being involved shows others they want to help programs like these succeed and perhaps find the next female leader in the technology industries.
(Me working on a short film, doing some compositing in the post-production stages of the short.)
We have to take responsibility as a whole so this growth that has happens continues and there will be a more equal playing ground in these industries. We need to stop making the focus be on the appearance of our young ladies and more on what they can do, and the skills they are strong in. When girls are being raised they get a lot of compliments on how cute they are and comments on how pretty they look in thier dresses, which I have no problem with, as long as we let them aslo know that they are smart, and patient and have great communication skills and are whizzes in math and seem to be naturals in science and technology. Our pretty girls need to know they can be both pretty and smart. We need to be examples and teach others to define our young ladies by their skill sets and strengths, STRONG is the new PRETTY.
We also have to be the ones to urge those around us to support the programs that enrich our future in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math and be a part of the growth of women in these industries. We have to be examples and inspire girls to problem solve, explore, and be curious about our world and how it works. We, like the big companies have to lead by example, as well, and make sure we donate our money, time and materials to these programs. We need to let these young ladies know and be confident that they can do anything they put their minds to!
At the end of the end of the advertisement you read, "inspired minds can change the world, " and ends by saying, "Isn't it time we told her she's pretty brilliant, too?"