It’s no secret that there are fewer women than men in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields today. In fact, women hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs, despite filling close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy. And women who do hold STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in other industries—making the gender wage gap comparatively smaller in STEM fields.
At Girl Scouts, we’re more than ready for a change—and STEM leaders start here, with us. Since our founding in 1912, Girl Scouts has introduced girls of all ages, from five-year-old Daisies to high school Ambassadors, to these important fields to help them see for themselves how they can improve the world using valuable STEM skills.
This past weekend girls in grades 4-12 were able to engage in a fully hands-on STEM experience at Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Council 13th annual G.E.M.S. (Girls in Engineering, Math & Science) event. This spectacular program was located at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, where over 650 girls from all over Kentucky were in attendance.
The all-day event on Saturday November, 11th gave girls a glimpse into the world of STEM careers through a series of workshops that included computer programming, robotics, mechanical engineering, phlebotomy and many other fields. This was also the first year that the event was open to the general public, not just registered Girl Scouts.
At Girl Scouts, we are the foremost experts in preparing the next generation of female STEM leaders. Need more proof? According to a recent Girl Scout Research Institute study, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they’re considering a career in technology.
It all starts with a badge. Girl Scouts has more than 35 of them—many introduced earlier this year—that challenge girls to stretch their STEM skills to make the world a better place. And because everything behind our badges is girl-led and girl-approved, we believe each badge can be an important step a girl takes to help close the STEM gender gap once and for all.
Discover more about Girl Scout STEM badges (and other badges) via our Badge Explorer. And this is just the beginning! Over the next two years, Girl Scouts will launch 18 Cybersecurity badges and a series of Space Science badges.
In related news, GSUSA announced a brand new initiative to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields by bringing millions of girls into the STEM pipeline over the next eight years. The Girl Scout STEM Pledge is an initiative that seeks to raise $70 million by 2025, affecting 2.5 million girls. To support the Girl Scout STEM Pledge, visit www.girlscouts.org/STEMpledge.
Contributed by Lauren Wallace