Survey: American Girls Aren’t Interested in STEM Careers - Higher Education


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Survey: American Girls Aren’t Interested in STEM Careers

by Ronald Roach

Survey: American Girls Aren’t Interested in STEM Careers

CHICAGO
The Chicago-based Society of Women Engineers has released a survey that indicates 75 percent of American girls have no interest in pursuing a career in science, math or technology. Only 10 percent of those surveyed said they considered engineering as a career option.

The survey also reported that while 95 percent of girls said that careers in science fields are “cool,” 66 percent said such careers are “not for them.” The girls surveyed generally expressed more interest in the entertainment, fashion and cosmetics fields. Citing the fact that less than 10 percent of American engineers are women, SWE officials say the survey results reveal that more must be done to convince young women to consider STEM fields as career options and prepare them for such options.

“With today’s multimedia, multi-influence culture, young women in the United States are continuing to drift away from careers in areas that are vital to the country’s economic future,” says Ronna Robertson, SWE’s president. “American culture has traditionally misled young girls to believe that they cannot excel in math or science and, as a result, they harbor negative perceptions of engineering. … We have a real opportunity to right previous wrongs and show young women what engineering is all about and give them a chance to change the future.”

In an attempt to foster more positive perceptions of technology and engineering, SWE has participated in the sponsorship of spring events to promote engineering careers among girls. The program series, entitled “Wow! That’s Engineering?” pays tribute to the achievements of women in technology. Events have been scheduled in Japan; Austin, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Raleigh, N.C.; and San Francisco this spring.



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