Igniting a path for women to thrive in STEM careers
How can we create a more inclusive environment for women in STEM, address the gender gap in STEM, and build a more diverse and innovative workforce?
Giving women equal opportunities to pursue and thrive in STEM careers helps narrow the gender pay gap, enhances women’s economic security, ensures a diverse and talented STEM workforce, and prevents biases in these fields and the products and services they produce
A solid grounding in STEM skills
The role of technology in our daily lives is growing, but for now, technology needs humans to build it, program it, understand it, and repair it. Software developers create innovative apps and AI developers create, improve, and fix it when it malfunctions, but one thing is certain: those with a good science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education will have a significant advantage in finding jobs and will probably be able to find them more easily and have a higher salary.
Bridging the gender gap:
In South Africa, not more than 13% of women choose to study in the STEM disciplines and globally, not more than 30% and this is where we need to start with closing the gap between males and females in the STEM disciplines. Women should be educated about STEM careers and their impact on the world. We also need to expose them to women who are thriving in these fields, while making career opportunities available to them.
Closing the skills gap:
The rise of automation and new technologies has increased productivity, but it has also created a major societal problem: the stark mismatch of skilled people for available jobs at the heart of our economy. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, the skills required to succeed in the workforce are also changing. Some skills that are likely to be in high demand in the near future include: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), data analysis and design thinking.
Call to action:
Women should be given equal opportunities to pursue and thrive in STEM careers to help reduce the gender pay gap. This will also help enhance women’s economic security, ensure a diverse and talented STEM workforce, and prevent biases in these fields and the products and services they produce.
PwC, UNICEF and Generation Unlimited, are proud to contribute to growth initiatives such as TechnoGirl and to honour our values - which are to act with integrity, make a difference, care, work together and reimagine the possible.