Video: How Chevron Corporation is Supporting Girls in STEM Education
Hema Nookala posted on June 04, 2018 | | 913 views

In today’s day and age equality is a controversial topic. As a society we like to think that we have progressed beyond the antiquated views of stereotyping the lives of men and women; and then expecting them to follow-through with those stereotypes to be considered successful. However, there’s still much progress we have to make. Speaking specifically to education and the workplace, there is a large discrepancy between the number of men and women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

According to Statistics Canada, National Household Survey 2011, women make up 23% of university engineering graduates. This percent is particularly shocking because women make up 59% of the general science and technology university graduates. When it comes to engineering and computer sciences representation of women falls considerably. However, engineering is a discipline that requires a diversity since it is an amalgamation of innovation and practicality. Our world is rapidly developing and so we need ideas and input from different sources and backgrounds to come up with the best solutions.

Engineering.com has produced two videos that introduce the topic of bringing girls into STEM fields early. Dan Hedges from Engineering.com sat down with Janet Auer, Chevron Corporation Global Social Investment Advisor and discuss the type of technical workforce we require to advance today, the difficulties that we face and historical figures that have paved the way for us. You can watch the video below:

After this introduction, a second video explores the specifics of how Chevron, a multi-national energy corporation, engaged in oil, natural gas and geothermal energy industries, is doing to encourage and inspire more girls and women to consider engineering careers. It’s up to the large and influential companies to their part to open up the field to women, and more and more are stepping up every day.

According to Statistics Canada, boys with lower marks in high school were more likely to choose a STEM university program than girls with higher marks in the same subjects. This suggests that there may be an imbalance in confidence, encouragement and role models that causes girls to back away from STEM degrees at a young age. As mentioned in the video, Chevron is working together with Techbridge Girls, a non-profit that provides after school programs for middle-school girls where they explore design and engineering processes in a supportive environment. They’ve found it drastically increase the retention of girls within STEM related courses. Watch the second video and hear about other companies Chevron has partnered with below:

Chevron has already reached out to work with universities across America, developing programs to help improve opportunities for women. They worked alongside the National Science Foundation to develop the Woman in Engineering Educational Outreach and Training curriculum, which provides teachers with materials on engineering structured in a way that allows a wider array of people to feel connected with the material.

Today it is up to these capable corporations to extend their support, financially and otherwise, to give women equal opportunities in all realms of life. Starting from elementary school, girls face the reality that engineering fields are highly dominated by men. Comments about how ‘it’s hard for a girl to do engineering’, coupled with noticing that there are not very many female role models in the industry; make it easy to believe there’s no place for women to achieve success in engineering and technology. However, with increasing awareness and various programs and events tailored towards women interested in STEM there is hope that young girls will see that not only are they capable to work in these fields, but they will be respected there.

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