Women account for only 32% of the degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Female, first-generation students are at an additional disadvantage, even though they are just as likely to be interested in STEM as their non-first-generation counterparts, but less likely to remain in the field or finish their degree.
Public education's purpose is to enable every human being within a society, regardless of economic means or social status, the opportunity to be educated and learn the skills, information, history, norms and intellectual tools that are needed for full participation as adults within that society. If the goal is to educate all people, it may be beneficial to modify some educational instruction, programs or approaches for some students based on gender.
I am mistaken for a nurse almost every single day at work. While it is a compliment to be mistaken for a nurse (they are truly amazing and do things I never could do), the men I work with are never thought to be nurses. If they look young, they are usually mistaken for medical students... training to become doctors.
The gender-gap issue in the technology industry starts during those impressionable early teen years when girls are forming initial perceptions of careers and opportunities they might pursue. As adults in their lives, it's up to us to put technology and computing careers on their radar. I invite you to help us spread the message of GIFT across the nation and increase the pipeline of female students opting for tech majors in college. Together, we can turn back the trend.
When these economic elites are predominantly male -- the names of Jeb Bush's super PAC donors read like a bachelor party guest list -- this means that American public policy is disproportionately influenced by men. Decisions about whether to prioritize issues like paid sick leave, affordable child care, birth control access and equal pay are not ultimately made by the people they impact most: women.