Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) have made significant progress in those fields in recent years. Unfortunately, there are still several challenges they must overcome, as well. This ranges from gender-based discrimination and unconscious bias to having to maintain a work-life balance and negative stereotypes. Women looking for a career in STEM often lack opportunities for work in their chosen field and a serious lack of mentors. This article presented by Readrey can help women find their way as they navigate their way through the STEM industry.
Overcoming a Lack of Representation
One of the biggest hurdles women looking for a career in one of the STEM fields will find is a lack of representation. To overcome this, seek out other women in those fields by attending conferences and workshops. That way, you not only learn about the newest developments and trends, but you’ll be able to network with other women in your field for support and guidance. You might even want to volunteer at one of them. Volunteers are usually able to meet people more easily since they have the opportunity to interact with most of the attendees.
You can also participate in online communities, such as social media groups, forums, and discussion groups. This will allow you to share your experiences and insights and get your questions answered.
Overcoming a Lack of Support
Another obstacle STEM women often face is a lack of support, especially in the workplace. This can be things like unequal pay, lack of opportunities, limited chances for advancement, and a lack of flexibility in their work hours.
In order to overcome this, it’s important to search for employers who embrace diversity and inclusivity. Look for information on employers’ websites, mission statements, and press releases. Or you can attend career fairs, especially this STEM recruitment fair, where you’ll meet not only the owners but other employees who will be able to give you a less biased view of the company’s history of inclusion of women in key positions.
Overcoming a Lack of Resources and Funding
A lack of resources can include a lack of access to technology, equipment, and training. Look for funding opportunities like grants, fellowships, and scholarships. There are several sources to search for grants for women in STEM, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Use their websites to search for grants that are specific to your field of study or research.
Many universities and colleges have grants for women in the fields of STEM. Check with the financial aid or research office there to get information.
Look into private institutions like AAUW. They provide grants and scholarships for women in STEM. Look at foundations that are specific to your study of research or study. Check their websites since most of those that offer grants will have directions for how to apply there.
Create Your Own Opportunity: Market Research and Business Cards
One way to ensure you can work in your field of choice is to start your own business. You’ll want to do some market research. Talk to potential customers, conduct surveys, and gather data to help you make informed decisions.
Network with other women who are owners of their own businesses in their particular STEM fields. They can give you the information you can use to help you avoid many of the problems you can face as you begin your start-up. For this, you’ll need plenty of business cards. Creating free business cards is easy and allows you to choose from premade templates while allowing you to pick out your own colors and fonts and the ability to upload your own designs.
These types of business fields often present larger financial risks, so structuring your business as an LLC makes good business sense. An LLC structure provides a buffer between your personal and business finances. That way, your own assets like your home, car, and savings can be protected. You can form your business as an LLC yourself by using a business formation online service.
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