By Eleni Bow
The world of STEM knows no bounds, and yet some of its scholars receive little recognition. The demographic of women in the field is tiny but mighty.
STEM is a group of academia based on the idea of educating students in four specific areas – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – through an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
Some of the careers that are available after pursuing a STEM degree include, but are not limited to, medicine, computer science, aerospace engineering and applied mathematics.
According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), out of the entire STEM workforce, 28 percent of its demographic is women. This is caused by a variety of limiting factors, such as gender stereotypes, a confidence gap, and few female role models in the field, AAUW writes.
However, with all of these challenging and confidence-questioning predispositions, some girls from Delta’s graduating class of 2021 are venturing into this academia.
A large portion of these girls are pursuing majors within the science (S) area of STEM.
Valedictorian Alyssa Gregory plans to major in genetics at Purdue University in West Lafayette. She has confidence in her skills and knowledge, but wonders about how others will perceive her.
“My main concern is whether or not I will be taken seriously by my colleagues,” Gregory said. “I have hope that I will be treated with respect, but due to STEM typically being considered a male field, I am slightly worried.”
At Ball State University, Emily Neal will go into their nursing program.
On a more specific level of the medical field, Tatyana Ervin wants to go to Ivy Tech to eventually specialize in labor & delivery. Along with helping laboring moms, Ervin wants to practice other technical skills in her field.
“I personally like math and wouldn’t mind learning new math ways and using them every day,” Ervin said.
Amara Roberts will attend Ball State and major in biology. She wonders about how her professors will treat her in class.
“I think that equal treatment from future male professors of biology is a concern of mine,” Robert said. “I feel like a future doctor’s office post grad school may be more likely to hire me in future employment, but women statistically in the medical field make $100,000 less a year than men, so that could be a negative effect.”
Anye’a Carter will be at Ball State, majoring in pre-dentistry.
In the mathematics (M) area of STEM, both Hayley Nix and Erin Wirt will major in secondary math education at Ball State.
While the education to become a math teacher requires a lot of STEM elements, Nix feels confident about venturing into the female forward area of teaching.
“I feel like with how the world is today I won’t have very many issues with anything,” Nix said. “I want to be a teacher, which is a predominantly female job, which makes it kind of nice.”
Wirt feels capable about the challenges she may face.
“Personally, I believe men are inferior to women and I don’t think anyone will bug me solely based on the fact that I am a woman,” she says. “I think teaching also is not a very gender specific career.”
Although these girls may be pitted against some challenging circumstances, they will persevere to contribute to our constantly evolving society.