Working ToGetHerThere: Girls in STEM Part 4
Women in STEM Need Role Models at All Stages of Their Career
For girls, having a role model and being engaged in STEM while young is important “[Role models] may be the single most import ingredient. We need to demonstrate that the women in STEM come from all walks of life, have a wide variety of jobs and lead dynamic and interesting lives,” said Randy Freedman, Outreach Manager for SWE. The Glass Hammer has also found that having someone to look up to in the field is equally important for women as they get older.
According to an article entitled Why Role Models are Critical for Developing Women Leaders in Tech, “Many companies are making a robust effort to recruit a high percentage of women at the entry-level, but few are building the organizational structure that will ultimately keep them there.”
The article goes on to say that things such as participating in a leadership course can help to boost confidence in women, but having a role model a top motivator for women looking to advance their careers, 79.9% of women who participated in the survey said they had a role model. The article states “respondents who didn’t have a role model were significantly more likely to say they had no C-suite (a widely-used slang term used to collectively refer to a corporation’s most important senior executives) aspirations than those who did have one.”
To increase the ambition in women, companies should realize the importance of “nurturing connections between junior and mid-level technologists and the people at the top who support them through sponsorship initiatives, women’s networking groups, and mentoring programs.”
When leaders, male or female, encourage women to keep progressing in their careers at their company, the women are more likely to envision themselves at the top.