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Back on the #STEMPrincess Soapbox (Not that I ever left…)

Dear Friends:

There appears to be a backlash growing against girls being exposed to STEM careers.  This article is a fine example of it.

I’m here to state that I don’t like this movement–it’s scary. Because it’s basically holding women back.

Next, consider this report, that states it will take us nearly 120 years to close the gender pay gap. 120 years! I am sad to report that I will be dead by the time we reach gender pay parity.

Do you find this acceptable?  I do not.  And the one place where we get closest to pay parity is: STEM careers.  So, when organizations bash educators and the community at large for trying to expose girls to STEM careers early, I get twitchy, because this holds girls back.

Personally, I hated geometry growing up–all the rules to solve a problem–why not just solve the problem?  Physics wasn’t my best subject either, but I was and still am mystified by quantum physics, ‘spooky action at a distance’, and whether or not there are 10-11 other parallel universes going on at the same time.  I love art and writing. And despite (maybe because of) all of this, I still chose a STEM career–which apparently puts me in the category of “upper middle class” according to several reports.  (Although, trust me, I do not feel upper middle class. I feel middle class. But I at least have a shot.)

So, my friends, when people ask why it is so important to get more STEM education going on for girls, I discuss the data above, coupled with my own experience as a child.  While I think I can always do better, I turned out OK, and that’s thanks in part to a great STEM career.

The next time you see someone holding back a girl from exploring different career opportunities, STEM or not, call them on their BS, please.  I know I will.

Sincerely yours remaining on the STEM soapbox,

e

 

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