Women in Technology
Though women make up 47% of the workforce, they only occupy 25% of technology careers. However, a study of women who are in technology careers demonstrates that over 90% are confident in their ability to solve difficult tech issues. What does that tell us? The science and technology sectors need greater diversity, especially when it comes to the inclusion of women. The solution begins with early education, instilling passion and skills at a young age that will carry on through higher education and career recruitment.
How STEAM Helps Empower Girls
While women occupy a low percentage of engineering and technology jobs, those careers are estimated to make up as much as three-quarters of the workforce. This can be discouraging for women who did not pursue a robust education in mathematics and technology in their formative years. At the same time, there are upwards of 2.5 million jobs in these fields that are not being filled. There is no doubt our economy is becoming increasingly entrenched in Science, Math, Technology, and Engineering. Why are women so much less likely to occupy those positions? Blair Blackwell, manager of education and corporate programs at Chevron explains:
“We know that research shows students decide as early as second grade whether they are good at and whether they like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Many times, young girls in elementary school face implicit biases from their teachers, parents, media and even peers. They grow up thinking that STEM is for boys and can become discouraged from STEM subjects.”
With a lack of role models and pressure from peers to abandon interest in these subjects, young women may feel science, technology, math, and engineering are not for them. That is where STEAM helps tremendously. 95% of girls who participate in STEAM-based curricula gain more confidence in their ability to do math and science, thereby fostering their interest and passion in these subjects. If it sounds like STEAM empowers girls in general, imagine the possibilities of this system at a Christian institution.
STEAM in a Christian School
A key component of our philosophy is ensuring that every faculty member emphasis the importance of the gospel of Jesus. We value academics highly, but each teacher brings a Christ-centered perspective and worldview to every classroom. Jesus empowered women throughout his ministry. From the woman at the well to Mary Magdalene and Martha, Jesus gave women a more prominent role in his story than the culture would have otherwise.
When it comes to STEAM education at our Christian school, girls and boys are each empowered to accomplish great things through the subjects about which they are passionate. When students face challenges, STEAM emphasizes collaborative problem-solving. Exclusion is simply not tolerated in our system. With an emphasis on the arts as part of well-rounded academic experience, those who are more creative and artistically inclined are not excluded from science, technology, math, and engineering. A student who has an eye for design has an equal role at the table as one who can quickly understand and embrace complicated mathematical formulas.
STEAM education has been empowering our young women and men at Emmanuel Lutheran School in Asheville. As a Christian parochial, our ability to infuse a Christ-centered worldview into this educational system helps students become well-rounded, Christian experts in subjects that directly relate to the jobs and careers most available today. If you would like to know more about how your child can benefit from and become empowered by STEAM education, contact Emmanuel Lutheran School.