Turning the STEM Tide: An Approach for Mentoring Young Women on How to Thrive in STEM Careers

Report No. ARL-TR-7029
Authors: MW Cole
Date/Pages: August 2014; 22 pages
Abstract: The committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) advocates and promotes actions to increase the participation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Even when a large number of women enter STEM professions, data show that women do not advance professionally at the same rate as men. Reasons for this are attributed to that fact that many women in academic, industry, and government STEM sectors end up in low-tier and/or part-time/shared positions to accommodate family and family-related social demands. To mitigate this trend, it is critical to initiate mentoring and role model networking relationships for young women interested in STEM careers early-on. Thus, we have developed the Young Women in Science and Engineering (YWISE) annual workshop for high school girls interested in pursuing STEM careers. The mentoring program provides girls unprecedented access to successful women who have thrived in STEM disciplines, facilitating candid interactive discussions on trends, professional and personal life balance, and obstacles and opportunities for women in STEM fields. This report discusses YWISE and its mission to connect these future female scientists and engineers with successful women in STEM fields not only to inspire them to pursue STEM but also mentor them at an early age on how to thrive in STEM careers.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2014