Women's Underrepresentation in STEM Fields
Throughout the globe, women have remained highly underrepresented in STEM-fields, and for the past few decades, the gap has been increasing exponentially. The gap between men and women in the workforce, although more diminutive than it was years ago, remains significant. The belittling of women in factories and other working facilities continues, causing an unreasonable amount of women to be in a constant struggle in catering for their families economically and emotionally. For decades individuals, such as Angela Davis, Malala Yousafzai, and Mary Wollstonecraft, and many more, have promoted and valued equity, not only within the workforce but have an aspiration to imprint it into the social norms of the coming generations. However, many opponents do not believe that there are gender disparities within the workforce and refuse to acknowledge them. The keys to success for the next generation are in the hands of young women today. If we do not equip them with the motivation and desire to pursue their goals and aspirations, we are staging the future for utter destruction.
Supporters of equity in the workplace stem from the advocacy of equality of both men and women of all races. Figures such as Angela Davis demonstrated that feminism is more than simply fighting for equality. Davis states in her renowned book titled, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, feminism involves, “... consciousness of capitalism. So it has to involve a consciousness of capitalism and racism and colonialism and post-colonialities, and ability and more genders than we can even imagine and more sexualities than we ever thought we could name.” Davis was a frontline activist during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and advocated for equal rights among African Americans and gender oppression. Equity is needed in society before it is applied to the workforce for both people of different colors and gender.
Potential solutions for gender equality is much more than overcoming the wage gap. Altering the mindset of the young girls in this generation is crucial to subduing gender discrimination. Gender stereotypes often target the minds’ of young girls and force them into the stereotypical mindset that degrades their aspirations, causing them to stop pursuing STEM-related fields. Thus affecting them physiologically but also, inevitably, affecting the society around them as well.
Overall, women fought for equality for decades. From Wollstonecraft to Angela Davis, the fight for equality continues as women fight for their rights. Although women remain unequal to men, it is crucial to display the goals that women have accomplished to young girls of the generation, so they have the desire to uphold that responsibility of breaking down barriers for the women of the future.
BY: Tauba Ashrafi