As the world progresses, it is becoming easier for women to break the glass ceiling and overcome the stereotypes that plague society.
Recent studies have discovered a direct correlation between gender inequality and the participation of women in the STEM industry – higher levels of gender bias showed fewer women pursuing opting for STEM careers.
Up until now, only 29% of women accounted for the total number of people in STEM roles in the world. This percentage is slowly increasing and it is estimated that with intervention efforts, this figure could potentially climb to 40% by 2030.
Governments, institutions, and organizations around the globe have taken notice, and are developing programs devoted to encouraging higher participation of women in STEM.
Abiola Smith is proof that given the correct resources and social support, strong women determined to succeed in STEM can overcome the challenges of gender inequality.
Discovering her strong interest in science and technology at a young age, Abiola was able to explore her options in high school. Her experiences led her to dedicate herself to her passion for tech, completing a degree in Computer Science.
Working in tech-related roles for the better part of 10 years, Abiola’s progress in the STEM industry began with her first role in application support and database maintenance, an ideal position for the young computer science graduate. Since then, she has worked as a Network Administrator, Technology Educator and now serves as a Service Desk Specialist at Grade A.
Abiola is evidence of how women are now normalizing their place in STEM roles. In her experience, her colleagues are not only tolerant but welcoming to newer female recruits.
“As a woman working in STEM, you are always in the minority as these fields traditionally attract mostly men.” Smith said. “However, when working as part of a team, your male colleagues are usually very supportive and you are able to contribute to the team’s success.”
At this time, it is vital for companies to recognize the challenges faced by their female employees and celebrate their contributions. This appreciation goes a long way in convincing women that they can have proper careers in STEM fields.
Abiola has worked at Grade A for a while now and approves of the workplace culture of empowerment and support that they have strived to cultivate. “There are many opportunities for further personal growth and learning is continuous. No two days are the same so there is no chance of being bored or having constantly repetitive tasks. The team is also very helpful and our voices are heard.”
Abiola is full of encouragement for young women who may be considering a STEM career. Her dedication to her passion and experience in the industry make her a great role model.
“Follow your passion!” Smith urged. “Ignore the stereotypes surrounding women and girls in STEM and jump in with both feet. The STEM path is a very rewarding one which gives you the opportunity to contribute to tangible solutions every day – job satisfaction is guaranteed.”