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For years women have encountered challenges in STEM fields. Their main worry after graduation is not only securing a job but also being accepted at their workplace. Researchers have explored different avenues to find reasons for gender inequality in STEM jobs. They have considered discrimination at work to be one of the major reasons most women haven’t been successful in their careers.
While most STEM workers have stated that their gender has not played a part in their success, women in STEM jobs have a different opinion. Concerns are being raised because of women’s lower pay rates and discrimination against women. Women continue to face difficulties even though changes are being made to address these issues.
Read on for tips from Postrules.com on how to overcome some of the challenges that women encounter in the STEM workforce.
1. Gain More STEM Skills
If you’re in the STEM field, it is essential that you continue to develop your STEM knowledge. This will help you become more marketable, gain enviable career skills, and boost your confidence.
For example, you can enhance your knowledge and earning power by completing a professional development course. If you’re in project management, you can use Scrum to assist your STEM teams to communicate and work together on important projects. To learn more about Scrum strategies, enroll in an online agile scrum master course that counts toward certification and take an assessment test at the end to confirm your skills. Be sure to share the results with your employer and put them on your resume.
If you want to add to your computer aptitude, having a bachelor’s degree in information technology is a great way to open up career opportunities in hybrid fields requiring both more specialized STEM knowledge and computer savvy. Fortunately, online scheduling makes it easy to pursue a degree in the time that works best for you.
2. Find a Mentor and Make a Business Card
Most women in STEM jobs do not have mentors to guide and advise them. Many of them are first-generation college students, so they don’t have family members in the STEM industry. But the truth is your mentor does not have to be a family member. Some ideas include talking to your professor, attending a networking event, searching through your alumni network, or seeking an experienced employee in your company. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to offer guidance.
One useful way to help establish connections is with business cards. Having a memorable card to offer as you meet colleagues and potential mentors at professional events can help you grow your professional network. It’s easy to make free business cards of your own design with online tools. You can start from a template, then customize your design with your own images, text, and colors. Once you have a design you like, connect with a printer to have a box made for you.
3. Start Your Own Business
A gender analysis study found that female engineers earned less than their male counterparts. This is a large demotivator for women who are struggling with other inherent biases. Reducing inequality and bridging the income gap can help women significantly.
If you are receiving less than you deserve or have not secured a job because of discrimination, you can start your own business in your STEM specialty. Start by writing a business plan that clearly defines your company, your services, and your marketing strategy. You’ll also need to describe your business structure, funding requirements, and financial projections. A detailed plan will set you on the right path to creating opportunities for yourself.
No one ever said a career in STEM would be easy, but you can overcome challenges by completing a professional development course, finding a mentor, or starting and marketing a new STEM specialty business.