Sexy and scientific: Why STEM Girls are the future
No, those terms are not mutually exclusive
In a world where science and technology is at the heart of everything we do it would make sense that the best and most sought after jobs would be in STEM industries. In layman terms, that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Unfortunately, it seems as if there is a marked difference between the availability of these jobs to men and women. I’ve fallen victim of this myself as I’ve spent an extra £9,000, a year or my life and a whole lot of effort to rectify the mistake I made by actually listening to what society told be to do rather than doing whatever the hell I wanted.
Even though I had the better grades in science than in humanities, I ended up on the path to do Language, Literature, History and German. German was actually my worst subject at GCSE but no one thought to tell me I’d be better off doing my A* science subject. I realised little too late that I was bloody good at science and it was a part of my future, so I’ve ended up on a Life Sciences foundation year. Thankfully in September I’ll be on the Genetics course that I want but it could’ve easily went the other way.
My story, of being funnelled into one pathway before realising I belonged in a male dominated STEM world, is not an uncommon one. I spoke to other women and the similarities were depressing. A friend, Lucy, also experienced a similar type of gender discrimination when she expressed an interest in becoming a pilot in high school. Despite her excellent grades and obvious proclivity for science and maths, her school and parents thought it would be best to move her onto an entirely humanities based curriculum to dissuade her from her dreams. This shows that despite living in the most progressive era in history, there are still some things people are getting incredibly wrong. To think that hormone levels and what’s in between your legs truly makes any difference in your capability to do any job is just plain archaic. Teach girls that they can be strong, scientific and sexy; these things are in no way mutually exclusive. No matter what your interests, hobbies or profession if you identify as a woman, you are one. You have my full support, no questions asked.
I know these are not the only examples of girls who have experienced this kind of discrimination, I can only guess how many potential engineers have ended up as History Teachers because their passion for tools and building have been dismissed as “unfeminine” from an early age. There are probably some potentially groundbreaking scientists that have went undiscovered because when they asked for a chemistry set for Christmas, they were given a Baby Born doll instead. It’s so important to show children of any gender that they can truly be whatever they want, and screw what society thinks as long as they’re safe and happy.
This is why I applaud my fellow STEM girls, you are absolutely kick-ass amazing for ignoring conventions and pursuing your dreams. You carry on paving the way to becoming the absolute best in your field so you can inspire a new generation of STEM girls to be the future of this planet.