- Professional Development
Why are there so few women in tech jobs? Repeat after me, robotically, defensively: “It’s a pipeline problem!” So says David Cohen of TechStars, echoing many others, e.g. Paul Graham and CNN. But come on, folks. We’re kidding ourselves if we pretend that’s the only obstacle here. The pipeline problem is very real; but so is the trapdoor problem. It’s true that it would be better if more women went into technology to begin with, but it’s disingenuous to turn a blind eye to the fact that many women who do enter the industry subsequently drop out of it. Why? Well, let’s just look at a few recent headlines, shall we?
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Black women entering college are more likely than white women to be interested in majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics fields, new research shows—but they are less likely to earn degrees in those fields.
Ever since President Obama announced the “Educate to Innovate” campaign for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Education in November 2009, U.S. educators have launched a number of initiatives to push down STEM education to an earlier and earlier age. Entirely new curricula have been formed, new school programs have been created, and even classic childhood favorites like Sesame Street have been re-thought for STEM careers. The core belief is that if you teach kids early, they will embrace STEM disciplines and maybe even turn into STEM super kids.
But will all this focus on creating STEM super kids actually pay off?
If by “pay off,” we mean creating the basis for an innovation economy, then it almost certainly will. Just about everyone agrees that pushing down STEM education to an earlier and earlier age works – and may be the only way for America to preserve its innovation lead in the global economy. This makes intuitive sense – kids who get a jump start on STEM education early in their educational lives will probably be more attuned to STEM careers later in their educational lives.
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SOURCE(S): Washington Post