One of society’s biggest challenges to achieving gender equality is fighting gender stereotypes in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professions, with only 35% of women in Peru and the world choosing jobs related to these elements, according to dollar exchange portal Rextie. com.
In addition, of this figure, only 3% of women choose careers in ICT and only 2% hold management positions in technology.
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“It is alarming to see such low participation of women in the fields of study and research in science and technology in our country and around the world. It is estimated that women can only earn one STEM job for every four men, which translates to women getting on lower wages and access to ways to live and pay expenses or savings from their income. It will take at least 100 years to bridge this gap.” Claudia Quintanilla, CEO and co-founder of Rextie.
In short, this reality leads to greater economic inequality in society as a whole. This gap is said to be largely responsive to cultural beliefs and a lack of models about the role of women in science and technology, resulting in male students being more prone to engineering and technology fields, while women prefer humanities, social sciences, or management disciplines.
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According to Quintanilla, it is necessary and crucial to support girls and young women at a national level, since many of them have an innate talent capable of developing great solutions through science and technology, and therefore do not have the opportunity to prove it. It is important:
- Generating a growth mindset in young women: Whether at school or at home, they must develop security and self-confidence, learn to rethink their approach to challenges, and maintain an open mind to continually improve their skills.
- Teach them to see opportunities in mistakes: Women who want to be a part of STEM fields should see failure as an opportunity to learn and not a cycle that should be avoided or hidden when it occurs. Learning from our mistakes helps build resilience and a mental sense that we can grow.
- Enhancing the contributions of successful women: Due to some stereotypes and prejudices, great scientists and women in technology who have made significant contributions are not known, but highlighting their work in every invention/project will make them a source of inspiration, motivation and new ways of looking at the world.
- Encourage continuous learning and training: Only you never stop learning, preparing, training and professional development prepares us for the opportunities and challenges that the world presents to us.