5 Qualifications for Becoming a STEMinist
Do you think you have the necessary requirements to support those in STEM? You may be surprised.
If you sampled a random group of 100 computer science graduates in this day and age, take a guess as to how many are women? Well according to Girls Who Code, if you made the sad guess of 18, you’d be correct!
Shocking isn’t it? In another statistic by Girls Who Code, by 2020 only 3% of women will seek out jobs related to computing fields if current trends continue. But thankfully, just as Daniel from the Karate Kid had Mr. Miyagi cheering him on during the tournament, girls and minorities everywhere can take comfort in the fact that they have their own support system: STEMinists whose sole purpose is to lessen the gap in tech.
Now, these STEMinists have an important job, and thus, if you want to become one, there are several qualifications and characteristics you must have.
In order to become a STEMinist, you must...
1. Be A Human
This is perhaps the most important qualification. Anyone can be a STEMinist; gender, race, age, none of it matters. It doesn’t even matter what your career is or what you plan to pursue. The important thing is that you want to see more minorities going into STEM.
2. Be Willing to Keep Up to Date with Tech Issues
As much as this sounds like common sense, if tech and minorities going into tech is important to you, you should care enough to follow along with certain issues. By doing so, you are consistently updating yourself with the goings on of the world and will be able to talk about these issues if and when the time comes to defend your viewpoint and educate those around you.
3. Be Eager to Encourage Minorities to Pursue STEM
As I mentioned above, in order to become a STEMinist, you must first want to decrease the gap in tech between genders. Next, you should go out of your way to help contribute to the cause. Go donate to a charity which focuses on teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) to children in third-world countries, become a Girls Who Code mentor, start your own initiative; the possibilities are endless!
4. Not Discriminate
Many people believe that feminism correlates specifically to the advancement of women. However, feminism is a movement which aims for equality for all. STEMinism is similar, it aims for equal diversity in tech. We as STEMinists cannot discriminate between race, age, and gender, especially when it comes to STEM. Everyone equally deserves to learn about this field.
5. Be Active
Go to events which encourage people to pursue STEM, host some of your own! If you see someone who looks like they're struggling with the topic, try and help them. Intervene if you see someone being judged on anything other than their skill set. Do anything and everything you can to encourage people into STEM.
OK, so maybe these 'qualifications' listed aren't the secret to success. But the point is, it doesn't take a particular type of person - anyone can be a STEMinist. Now, according to Getting Smart, while the number of women earning doctorates in the STEM fields is continuously increasing, the number of men earning doctorates has been increasing as well. Fortunately however, the gap between the two is slowly but steadily increasing. But we can’t rest yet. While we have made some progress over the years, it's nowhere near enough. STEMinists everywhere need your help to make a difference in the demographics and to equalize the field. We want to encourage people everywhere to look into STEM as a career choice.
So the ultimate question is: do you have what it takes?
Stephanie is a senior at a high school focused on engineering. She will study computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall. When she isn't dancing and singing at the top of her lungs to the top hits or playing with her puppy Max, you can find her competing with other programmers at hackathons or teaching coding to students from impoverished districts. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys trying exotic cuisines; food is her ultimate love! After college, Stephanie wants to found a startup which focuses on developing technology to help children with problems such as bullying.