Clearly, a STEM education is not the only way to work in or lead a technology company. So while we work to get more women enrolled in STEM programs, we can also work to increasing gender diversity in the tech sector by attracting women with a variety of backgrounds at all levels. It all comes down to a change in culture.
Rather than drop the kids in front of the TV for a marathon viewing of their favourite shows (as tempting as that may sound to both you and them) or keep your fingers crossed that the weather cooperates for outdoor fun, consider breaking out a few STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) activities to keep them entertained and engaged while still learning.
Whether it's during family game night or a classroom holiday party, there are plenty of ways to integrate STEM-based games and toys for kids of all ages to enjoy. From building a website to building a structure, these fun activities are sure to spark an interest in subjects that might just pave the way for a future career.
Today's kids will see tremendous career opportunities thanks to the rapid growth of the technology sector and the emergence of the digital era. The problem: we're simply not equipping our youth with the right skills, knowledge, interest and confidence they'll need to take the wheel to drive our future economy.
Over the past few months there's been a lot of conversation about whether women are getting a fair shake in Silicon Valley. It's fantastic that there's so much focus on gender equality, but most of the discussion bypasses the fact that we still need to get more women to even try to succeed in technology.
Across the Fortune 500 companies and throughout cities worldwide, women appear to hold the short end of the stick. Women are considerably underrepresented as CEOs, officers, and directors in the corporate world. Since women occupy nearly half the total work force in the United States, what is the reasoning behind these inexplicable labour statistics?
With kids growing up surrounded by advertising, movies and TV, toys, books, and clothes that tell them that some things are for girls, and others are for boys, we're already fighting an uphill battle if our goal is to raise girls who know that they can solve tough, real world problems, and boys who are interested in collaboration, not just competition.
For my work, at the age of 13, I had the opportunity to represent Canada at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, I was selected as one of 90 finalists out of over 50,000 applicants for the Google International Science Fair and I was presented with Canada's Top 20 Under 20 award. Today, I'm 14-years-old and entering the 10th grade of high school. I'm combining my interests in biotech, health sciences and technology to launch my next venture.
The reality is that mining is no longer about brute strength and pickaxes. It is now one of the most technologically advanced industries in the world. And as an industry that is currently pushing the boundaries of engineering and technology, we should be appealing to young women everywhere to become involved.
When we look back in time we remember some pioneers who are studied in school because of the marks they have left behind. Remember Albert Einstein, Alfred Nobel, Aristotle? What happened to the women in STEM that have also made a difference in our lives from centuries ago? It is imperative to have these women featured.