Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are fields of work that are highly skewed when it comes to gender and minority balance. Related careers after completing education in STEM include medicine, engineering, software development, chemistry, and advanced computer-related professions. For a long time, industry regulators in the employment and education sectors have worked towards improving diversity in STEM. Here are the major points of focus that can help ensure that diversity is finally achieved.
Starting mentorship programs
Subconscious bias against women when it comes to STEM has generally dissuaded them from pursuing related education and employment opportunities. One of the potential solutions that can help turn things around is offering more gender-based mentorship. Providing mentorship programs alongside women who have successfully ventured into the STEM industry can help break the gender barrier.
Rethinking STEM disciplines
Another important strategy that can help improve diversity in STEM is reinventing the composition and packaging of STEM disciplines in school. For example, coupling STEM disciplines with other social-related disciplines, like humanities and arts, can help break the notion that STEM disciplines are complex and technically demanding. This concept, known as STEAM (the “A” standing for “arts”), opens up new opportunities for students with diverse interests.
Unfair recruitment is one of the major factors that hamper and threaten the sustainability of diversity in STEM. This can be improved by creating favorable recruitment procedures and processes, which generally attract more minority groups and convince them to venture into this industry. Enforcing transparent recruitment measures, which do not pay respect to any form of discrimination, ensures equal opportunity for all qualified STEM professionals and students.
Offering strategic incentives
The education and employment sectors should come together and offer strategic incentives to students from the moment they desire to pursue STEM disciplines. For example, employers can partner with financial institutions and the learning institutions to provide subsidized employment opportunities for minority groups. To further attract the interests of the STEM graduates, employment institutions can offer direct post-graduate attachment and possible assimilation into the workplace.
The last strategic way of increasing diversity in STEM fields is by offering a diversity-specialized focus in the education and employment sector. For example, creating diversity-specialized education, which encourages the minority groups to pursue STEM fields, brings on board more persons. The creation of networks of existing STEM specialists serves as an incentive to further encourage and mentor people.