Ladies in Lab Coats: Women Changing the Next Generation of STEM Posted on 7 August 2023 by Bora Hoxa for Kent-Teach in Career For centuries, men have dominated the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). Women have made major advances in these fields in recent years, eliminating barriers and opening possibilities for future female generations in science, engineering, maths, and technology. In this post, we will look at the contributions made by women in STEM and how they are affecting the future of these subjects.Women in STEM are Breaking Down ObstaclesWomen have historically faced several challenges in pursuing STEM careers. Women are still underrepresented in these fields today. According to the National Science Foundation, women make up just 28% of the workforce in scientific and engineering positions. However, the pattern is changing, as women are breaking down barriers in STEM professions, eliminating gender preconceptions, and widening the horizon of possibility. One such lady is Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in spaceflight. Dr. Jemison, an engineer and doctor, was a NASA pilot for six years. Dr. Jemison is a proponent of scientific education and the expansion of diversity in the STEM fields, in addition to her revolutionary efforts in space exploration. Because of her achievements in the industry and her campaigning, many young women and girls are now considering careers in STEM. Another female STEM pioneer is Dr. Jennifer Doudna, a scientist and molecular biologist. Dr. Doudna's groundbreaking work on CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, which holds the prospect of healing a wide range of hereditary disorders, has ushered in a genetic revolution. In 2020, she will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on CRISPR. Dr. Doudna's work has not only enhanced the field of genetics, but has also inspired many young women and girls to pursue STEM careers.Women in STEM are Changing the LandscapeWomen are not only breaking down barriers in STEM, but they are also setting the pace and determining the future of these fields. One such person is Dr. Sylvia Earle, an oceanographer and marine biologist who has dedicated her life to researching and safeguarding the oceans. Dr. Earle has over 7,000 hours of underwater experience and has led over 100 adventures. She was a pioneer in ocean conservation efforts and the first woman to serve as the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Earle's work has inspired many young women and girls to pursue careers in environmental science and marine biology, in addition to furthering our understanding of the seas.Dr. Katie Bouman, a computer scientist who managed the team that created the first-ever image of a black hole, is another female STEM pioneer. The Event Horizon Telescope project's success was dependent on the formulae and computer tools established by Dr. Bouman. Her efforts to this groundbreaking project have inspired many young women and girls to pursue careers in computer science and astrophysics, in addition to furthering our understanding of the cosmos.The Importance of Diversity in STEMThe success of these areas is dependent on the contributions of women in STEM. Women's contributions to STEM are critical for expanding our understanding of the world and developing new ideas and discoveries because women bring unique perspectives, experiences, and abilities to the area. However, there is a fundamental issue that must be addressed in terms of the under representation of women and other disadvantaged groups in STEM.The absence of diversity in STEM subjects limits not just the potential pool, but also the perspectives and ideas that may be expressed. STEM would struggle without different perspectives since diverse teams are required for creativity and problem-solving. There is a social fairness issue at stake, in addition to how the lack of variety in STEM limits creativity and problem-solving. Women and minorities are underrepresented in some of the most profitable and well-paying industries in the world, including STEM fields, as a result of their under representation. To address the under representation of women in STEM disciplines, more access to STEM education and job opportunities, as well as mentorship and support for women and young girls interested in STEM subjects, are required. This category includes resources such as The Empowering Guide for Women in Tech, which offers useful advice and direction to women pursuing careers in technology. By providing mentorship and guidance, women in STEM may develop the skills and confidence needed to excel in these fields and create an example for future generations. Finally, it includes changing the STEM attitude and image. Women and other underrepresented groups must be shown as successful and skilled STEM professionals.This includes altering the way STEM is portrayed in the media and popular culture, as well as supporting role models and mentors who can inspire and encourage young people to pursue STEM careers.ConclusionFinally, women are impacting STEM in a number of ways, from eliminating barriers to raising the bar for innovation and problem-solving. The under representation of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM, on the other hand, still need considerable work. By establishing inclusive and welcoming cultures, extending access to STEM education and opportunities, and changing the thinking and image of STEM, we can ensure that these disciplines are diverse, imaginative, and representative of the world we live in.There is no more important job than that of a teacher and teachers of STEM subjects are truly shaping the next generation and inspiring young people to take on careers that could change the world. Here are 6 reasons why you should become a STEM teacher.