Current initiatives to encourage women in STEM aren’t working and require realistic change.
As a woman in STEM, I have an insider perspective on the why women choose STEM programs, and how to encourage future participation into these streams. Sometimes, women talk a little too much about themselves, and it’s time we changed the conversation to something more relevant: men.
A common conception is that STEM courses are primarily geared towards young boys, through association of gendered toys, advertising, and societal pressures. This just simply isn’t the case – women have been equally accepted into all aspects of STEM industry, and are a welcome addition to the help staff of their male counterparts.
It is important to remember the real goal of a woman – to find an honest, down-to-earth guy that she wants to marry and have children with.
After all, if you aren’t married with one child by 31, your life is not only a complete and total failure, but also is officially over at this point.
The pursuit of marriage is intermittently tied to a woman’s profession. The first issue that commonly arises is that women can’t expect to land a good husband with a high paying job if she is working in a STEM field. Imagine having the same or higher salary than your husband? It would be outright embarrassing and disrespectful.
The second issue occurs with the quality of the men in the STEM fields. As Robert Masello iterates in his gripping saga Blood and Ice, in STEM programs “the odds are good, but the goods are odd”. The high paying future salary and abundance of new husband options are sometimes not enough to overcome the crippling social anxiety and awkwardness of the average STEM program enrollee. Therefore, my friend, Steve, helped me devise some fun and functional systems to completely jump around the issues at hand.
Buddy programs should be implemented into all the STEM programs across campus. Each woman enrolled will have a companion to guide her, walk her through the buildings, and tell her that her answers aren’t real. This will simulate real work place situations, and allow women to feel as though they are included in the STEM field. No longer will the STEM programs be a source of fear and anxiety for women – the men in the program will simply help them along.
Women in STEM shouldn’t expect to have the same jobs as men – they are women after all. STEM programs should have women-only courses. These courses will teach the fundamentals of being a woman in a work environment – like teaching women how to carry your boss’s coffee to work in the morning without letting it get cold, how to smile when Derek from Sales steals your project solution, and how to graciously accept that when your CEO calls you “hunny-bun” and slaps your behind.
A slap on the ass is a compliment, not a degrading performance piece on sexual harassment.
Perhaps a seminar on socializing and personal hygiene should be designed for all participants in the STEM fields. This will help navigate the tricky side of dating an engineer- sifting through the social atrocities to find your shining man. By socializing the STEM participants early in their program, it significantly increases the chances of meeting a soulmate early in the university degree by increasing social skills for men, and lowering standards for women. The earlier you meet your soulmate, the earlier you can get married and stop working. And we all know no one wants to worry.
Enrolling into a STEM field can be a tough choice for a young girl, but I think the prospects are looking up. Stop worrying about your daughter working with LEGOs or GoldieBlox – focus your efforts on the men your daughter will meet in her STEM program, and how happy she’ll be as an eventual stay at home wife.