“Hopes that women may help Germany plug its chronic shortage of tech-skilled workers have been dashed by startling new figures. The proportion of women aged 30 to 34 with a so-called STEM qualification in science, technology, engineering or mathematics fell from 6 percent in 2005 to just 2.6 percent in 2016, according to research by the IW German economic institute in Cologne.
” Yet another article telling us that the interest women have in STEM is decreasing. We need a mentality shift regarding STEM education and jobs. And we might need to start with educating parents. Apparently, they are the primary influencers of young girls, making them believe they are not good at Math and the other STEM expertises. So the chance that these girls will even have the slightest interest in pursuing a career in STEM, only gets smaller. In a previous article, I was talking about changing the way we recruit women for STEM roles, that is a challenge we definitely have to take on.
We need to change the corporate environment, to accommodate women who want to build a career in STEM. However, there are other parts of society that need our attention as well. Parents, schools, universities – they all need to be ‘educated’ and guided to share the advantages of, and need for, women in STEM jobs. In a few years time, most jobs will require some level of STEM knowledge – think of the development of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, etc. STEM will become part of our everyday lives, if it hasn’t already.
Gerhard Michael Eckert