5 Ways Men Can Inspire and Encourage Women in STEM

It was 2001. I was a teenager at a technical high school in the Baltimore suburbs studying computer and networking technology. It didn’t take long for me to look around and ask, like teenage boys are wired to do, “Where are all the girls?” There were none. What are the odds, right? Well, little did I know at the time, the odds were pretty good that I would seldom see the opposite sex in such a class or as I advanced through my collegiate and professional careers.

My perspective has changed a lot since those teenage years. Back then, I was bothered by the lack of females in a superficial “teenage boy” way. Now, with several years working in a technical field under my belt, I’m bothered by it in a real-world “this is a big problem for our society” way. In order for us to continue to be prolific innovators, we need to attract the best minds to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields — and half of those minds belong to women. As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, I want to motivate more men to inspire and encourage the females in our lives to pursue classes and careers in STEM. And here are five ways we can do it:

1. Friendship. This one is for the fathers. As you can see from my experience, the gender gap begins younger than you might think, and the trend only continues to widen. Let’s get ahead of it, let’s encourage our girls to explore the areas of STEM at a young age. Make it fun. Take your daughter and her friends on a play date to the science museum. Encourage them to form a robotics team, make it a group activity instead of an individual chore. Keep it fun, —> Read More