Science: It’s a Girl Thing!
I came across this blog entry today regarding thoughts on the European Commission’s media attempt to attract young women to science and engineering careers.
This video, highlighting girls in high heels, skirts, and wearing make-up, is part of a campaign to challenge girls to enter STEM careers. However, it received almost instant and widespread criticism for being derogatory and inaccurate. TIME Magazine’s online newsfeed called it ‘Breathtakingly Sexist’. While I think the final product detracted from the underlying message, the EU was heading in a good direction.
The above blog highlights an important fact: Women in STEM careers were not the target audience. 13-18 year old girls were, particularly those who might not otherwise pursue a STEM career. We need to appeal to young women on a level that they are familiar with and can relate to in order to attract girls to STEM careers. Most of the time, this has everything to do with what young girls see and hear in the media. Unfortunately as of now, they definitely do not see a lot of female role models and mentors in tech careers. This is what needs to change!