The ongoing debate lately is how to get girls more interested in STEM subjects and careers. Unfortunately, a large percentage of girls do not believe that they are inherently good at math. Most of this perception starts at a young age where very few toys or media that are STEM centered are directed toward girls. There may be a subconscious belief system that results in this misguided marketing toward our children.
However, studies show that both girls and boys have an equal ability in math and science related subjects. Often, society unknowingly pushes boys toward math and science by comments such as “He is a boy and doesn’t like to read” or girls towards language arts with “Girls aren’t that good in math.”
If our society truly wants to expand and tap into the potential of the best candidate for STEM, we need to educate teachers and parents to have an unbiased dialogue with children and let their natural abilities play out. In this case, natural interest and practice really do make the difference, not gender.