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5 reasons you must encourage girls to learn Math: STEM education

There is still not equal representation in STEM between genders, and we must encourage girls to learn math to help overcome this. Discover why STEM learning for girls should be encouraged, as well as how to go about encouraging it. 

Statistics that show why you need to encourage girls in math

To see why you must encourage girls to learn math and other STEM subjects, all you need to do is look at some statistics. 

  1. Globally, only 29.3 per cent of those who worked in scientific R&D in 2016 were women
  2. Only 16 per cent of managers in information technology companies around the world are women. 
  3. The number of women on the boards of tech companies increased from 14.8 to 17.9 per cent from 2018 to 2019. 
  4. The number of women on these tech boards remains low, but this industry saw the biggest increase compared to non-STEM fields. 
  5. Only 5 per cent of those who work in mathematics and statistics are women. 

Now that you see why you must encourage girls to learn math, how do you go about encouraging STEM learning for girls? 

Expose them to STEM from a young age

It is never too early to start encouraging girls to learn math or be interested in it. Teach them to count at a young age and as soon as they enter school, encourage them to pursue math and enjoy it. Encourage them to take accelerated-track math classes if they want, and expose them to math just as much as you would a boy. 

Explore career options that include math

From a young age, one of the most common questions children get is what they want to be when they grow up. Whether they are still in the daydreaming stage of their answer or starting to get serious about their future, encourage your child to explore options that involve math. 

Take the time to talk with your child about what they want to do when they grow up and let them know what skills are required. By making it clear from an early age what skills they would need to succeed, you can give them added motivation in all subjects. 

Encourage them to participate in workshops and other programs

One of the best ways to encourage anyone to learn math is to find something that involves it and they love doing. This includes encouraging them to participate in special workshops or programs dedicated to STEM learning for girls. If they want to take extra math classes online or practice their skills via e-learning, encourage them to do so. 

Take this a step further and encourage your child to play math games that she likes, such as Monopoly or other board games. 

Focus on positives and encouragement when learning math

Some people struggle with math while others find it easy, but just because your child struggles, this does not mean you should not encourage her. Instead, provide her with the resources and encouragement she needs to learn math. Not only will she gain valuable skills in the form of mathematics, but she will also learn that she can overcome obstacles. This will do wonders in terms of boosting her confidence. 

If your child gets discouraged while pursuing math because of a roadblock or a weakness, provide her with the resources she needs to overcome it and work to keep her confident. Do this by pointing out her strengths in math, whether it is a concept or a certain type of question. 

Introduce role models in STEM who are female

One of the biggest hurdles to STEM learning for girls is the perception that this field is not for them, or that only men go into STEM. The best way to overcome this is to show specific examples of women in STEM. Teach your children about famous female mathematicians and scientists.

Even better, see if you can find someone you know who has an education in STEM or math. Get your child to interact with them at least occasionally and see them as evidence that they can achieve their math dreams. 

 

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