Leslee Hill, director, WEOC
There is a major push in the U.S. to teach S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum in schools. Tech is a major industry being scrutinized for an underwhelming representation of females. So what is really happening?
What is the current landscape of women in S.T.E.M roles?
- Only 18 to 20 percent of all engineering students are women
- Women entrepreneurs begin with ? the funding compared to male-owned ventures
- Women-operated ventures have 12 percent higher revenues than those operated by men
- Only five percent of tech start-ups are operated by women
How can I encourage females to start S.T.E.M. businesses?
- Start smashing. Smash the belief that males are better than females at math and science. A recent study shows girls and boys score closely in math and science.Girls even outperform boys in reading.
- Support women entering male-dominated S.T.E.M. professions.
- Females currently in S.T.E.M. leadership roles and business owners need to be more visible. Seek speaking engagements, volunteer for interviews, participate in school programs to educate and help guide students, amplify your social media brand and write books. Get out there and show yourself. Be the inspiration you want to see in the world.
- Mentoring is critical. Women and men should mentor and sponsor females in S.T.E.M. and ALL fields. Those who invest their time in a mentoring relationship are 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions. It pays to mentor and be mentored.
How does one start a S.T.E.M. business?
- Start. The first step is the hardest: ask for help. In Fort Wayne, there are so many amazing resources – many offered at no charge. Contact WEOC, The NIIC, ISBDC, SCORE, Brightpoint or the CDC, to name a few. Try one and see what grows!
Phone: (260) 407-6442