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Why I Believe We Should Have More Women in STEM Careers

Neelima Turaga
November 8, 2017

Growing up in India, I watched my mother juggle taking care of our family, tutoring other children, and a career as an economics professor at the local university. She inspired me to reach for the stars and made me believe that nothing was out of reach if I worked hard enough.

Today, I still try to live by her mantra and always strive to be a better person. Much of the success I have had in my life was due to her. She taught me women could do anything if we just put our minds to it.

If you don’t know what STEM is, it is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Typically, these career paths are known to be male-dominated fields. In today’s world, the number of women in STEM fields is growing, but men continue to outnumber women by a fair amount. Here are just a few reasons why I believe we need more women in STEM Fields:

New Perspective

Over half of the world’s population is women, but only a quarter of the STEM careers are filled by women. This leaves women greatly underrepresented in many of the fields that shape the products we use every day. Many of the products, even ones that are created for women, are designed by men, and many fail to fulfill the needs of their female users. By increasing the number of women in STEM fields, this will allow women’s needs to be better understood and create better products that are more successful.

Neelima_1.jpgWomen's day talk to entrepreneurs at Mop Vishnav College

Increased Income and Career Growth

STEM careers are typically some of the highest paying and fastest growing opportunities in our current economy. For many women, the family is an important part of their life. One way that women can help improve the quality of their family’s lives is by having a career in STEM and increasing their overall household income. By pursuing a career in a STEM field, it can increase the potential for career growth.

Role Models

Young women are influenced by some factors including the women in their lives, the opportunities they have in school, and even television and other media. Many times women are not portrayed in STEM roles in media, and there is a lack of female role models in STEM fields. When young women see career-driven mothers, teachers, and sisters in STEM fields, it opens new opportunities that they may not realize they have. Being a woman that studied engineering and pursued a career in a STEM field, I feel lucky to have an opportunity to encourage young women to pursue engineering, including my younger sister.

Untapped Talent

To drive STEM fields forward and grow we need to have the best and brightest minds working together in these areas to advance them. It is much more difficult to achieve this when you are overlooking a significant portion of the talent pool because young women grow up not realizing they could pursue a career in STEM.

If you’re a woman in a STEM, please take every opportunity to inspire other women to pursue careers in a STEM. Be a mentor, support, and encourage other women to join STEM fields. Get involved and help them understand the impact they can make for themselves, for the people around them, and the world. Women can bring forward change and break barriers when we work together with a common goal.

Neelima_2.jpgIndustrial visit to Whirlpool India to learn how the microprocessors were programmed for the appliances.

"[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world..." -  President Barack Obama, March 23, 2015

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