Help Wanted: The Search for Female Engineers

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Photo by Women in Engineering Program at UT-Austin

Finding a woman in the STEM field can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. “Girl Day” seeks to change that.

“Girl Day” is an event hosted by DiscoverE, a volunteer organization dedicated to encouraging children to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This event, however, is specifically designed to encourage young women to enter the STEM fields.

The day-long event allows girls to engage in hands on engineering activities and interact with women currently working in the STEM fields.

“Girls do not pursue engineering at the same rate as boys and we’re trying to change that by giving girls a day to explore, get comfortable with problem solving, get hands-on STEM experiences and engage with lots of STEM role models,”Tricia Berry, director of the Women in Engineering Program (WEP) at UT-Austin said in an interview with USA Today.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics says that even though women make up 47% of the total U.S. workforce, they comprise only 39% of chemists and material scientists, 27.9% of environmental scientists and geoscientists, 8.3% of electrical and electronic engineers, and 7.2% of mechanical engineers.

“Girl Day” is continuing to grow as the day event entered its 14th year on Feb. 26 and was held on 43 locations including Purdue University, Drexel University and the University of North Dakota. It was also held in places in the United Kingdom, Brazil and Stockholm.

Time will tell if women will take the STEM fields by storm in the future, or if they will be content to simply watch from the sidelines. “Girl Day”, however, will be there to do its best to ensure the former rather than the latter.

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