Today marks International Women in Engineering Day and we wanted to share a comment on how our education systems need to highlight female leaders and experiences. IWED is an international awareness campaign that celebrates the work and achievements of women engineers.
<p>International Women in Engineering Day is an annual opportunity to make a commitment to global equity and visibility for women in STEM – a chance to recognise that diversity of experience and perspectives in tech enriches the field as a whole.</p>
<p>We can start this work with our kids, with the learning experiences we expose them to both in and out of the classroom. When we think of our education systems more broadly – when we understand that young minds are constantly learning and absorbing information every moment of every day – we empower our society to create more intentional and impactful experiences for our youth. As children formulate their understanding of the world and how it works, we can rewrite of the outdated narratives about gender roles in the engineering space. </p>
<p>To do so, we need to reprogram our collective thinking and accept this challenge holistically. From the school yard through representations in media, modern female voices deserve authentic platforms and increased visibility to create both short and long-term social gains. For example, STEM legends like Marie Curie deserve recognition, but not as a stand-in for ALL women in the field.</p>
<p>The good news is that women in STEM are often generous mentors looking for opportunities. Invite them into classrooms to speak with students of all genders about their career arcs and experiences. Highlight female leaders in media profiles, and above all, compensate these women equitably: for the labor of their day jobs, as well as for their thought leadership and willingness to serve as role models for the next generation. </p>
<p>The work required to achieve true gender parity in STEM will neither be easy nor short-term. But International Women in Engineering Day is a time to celebrate the talent and leadership of the current field of deserving women, while looking ahead and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow.</p>