Free Enterprise Staff  | March 5, 2015

Turning to STEM to Empower Young Girls

To get ahead in an increasingly competitive global economy, today’s students need to distinguish themselves from their international counterparts. One of the best ways to accomplish that feat is by getting young people—especially young women—interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), argues Anna Maria Chávez, the CEO of the Girls Scouts of the U.S.A.

In an editorial she penned for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Blog, Chávez writes that encouraging young women to pursue careers in STEM fields is critically important, particularly considering the growing demand for such skilled workers. Yet even given such high stakes, women continue to lag behind men in STEM-related fields. That’s a trend that Chávez has sought to remedy through her work at the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., which has studied the phenomenon extensively.

What, then, can be done to encourage STEM development among girls? Drawing on her organization’s ongoing research and outreach efforts, Chávez identifies five key areas that must be addressed should this disparity be remedied. The first step, she says, is to focus on elementary and middle school girls. Interested in learning more? Then check out the piece in its entirety here.