Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) have faced decades of bias, with new research revealing alarming figures.
These sub-conscious stereotypes are deeply ingrained in our societal psyche despite the fact that 42% of all STEM Ph.D. recipients in the US are women.
More and more women are opting for what they believe in, rather than allowing others to make decisions for them. This is breaking the barrier that has long hidden the true talents and potential of women.
Comprehensive studies have revealed that when it comes to STEM fields, there is no difference between men and women’s performances. In fact, at times women are expected to perform better.
Jennifer McNeill shows that breaking the glass ceiling is no longer a problem for women in STEM. She started as a coordinator for a tech company and worked for 4 years before joining Grade A as a Service Desk Operations Manager.
McNeill is proof that vertical, as well as horizontal, movement in the STEM industry is possible for women. From a tech coordination role to a managerial role in tech in just 4 years shows how quickly women can progress in STEM nowadays.
It is important to reinforce the idea and prospects of STEM fields – the education system needs to develop strategies that boost the confidence of women in STEM and build their interests. Studies show that women are more likely to lose interest in STEM fields in high school than men.
Jennifer was introduced to, and intrigued by IT at an early age. Her father worked in a managerial IT position for over 35 years. That interest became practical for her in high school where she developed her ever-lasting love for IT. She says, “I’ve always been interested in new developments in the tech industry and AI/robotics; the personalities and problem solving has always had me hooked.”
It’s no secret that women are constantly facing challenges in the workplace. Gender bias, stereotyping and the overall climate of the STEM departments in educational and professional institutions has blocked the road to success for many women. But times are changing and women are fighting back.
McNeill says that the number of women in technical roles has increased drastically over the years. Where you once found one woman in an IT company, you can now find ten. She says, “It is empowering to see more and more women applying to the STEM field positions. I find the general personalities of the tech people to be the perfect fit for me.”
Citing floating stereotypes, naysayers, and the biases brought forward by the people around them, many young girls are skeptical about going into the STEM industry, and they could benefit from the advice of women who are working in STEM fields today.
Jennifer McNeill is a seasoned STEM field expert and she encourages women to pursue careers in STEM, saying, “GO FOR IT! The opportunity to grow and find out what you are capable of has no limit in this industry.”
Companies like Grade A are a great example of how women in STEM are not only welcome but preferred. Jennifer has spent 4 years in Grade A as a service desk operations manager, working alongside some of the best minds in the industry. “I love the atmosphere and culture. We are surrounded by creative and innovative minds.”
A lot of companies are realizing the potential and talent of women in STEM and giving them more and more opportunities to prove their expertise. Progressiveness and globalization have opened the world’s stage for women to showcase their aptitude, and prosper.