Friday, December 13, 2013

A Licking County Edge: Women in STEM Careers

My 10-year-old daughter inspires to a STEM career.  She's been predicting weather for years and pursuing a meteorology career as much as a fifth grader can.  How many girls her age can boast their own backyard weather station? 

I know she's the exception, not the rule, though, in getting girls to think about STEM fields as a lifetime profession.

A recent New York Times article cited the reasons why women are disproportionately represented in STEM careers in this country.  The point is that a chunk of the workforce competitiveness of our nation is lost to not seeing more girls enter STEM fields.

Agree with the full article or not, it's clear a community that does more to encourage girls to pursue STEM curriculum and STEM careers is going to more often fulfill the STEM workforce needs of its businesses than one that doesn't.

For this, I believe, Licking County has an edge. We can build on it too.

Asked to name prominent women in our small community who are role models in engineering, I quickly came up with an impressive list of eight just off the top of my head.

Woman engineers head up three local plants.  Women lead engineering-oriented STEM facilities at many local facilities too.

That's not to mention women involved in key engineering roles as well as other STEM fields that would make excellent role models.

We just have to spotlight women as role models for our daughters and grow our STEM skilled workforce better than the competition.  The Works is already working on it!

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