Thursday, December 2

Session encourages girls to pursue science and math

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Work-life balance — a predicament that most working women face. For those in engineering and computing, it is no different.

Despite being overloaded with work, women are expected to manage family and home responsibilities, said a college teacher from the US in her address to students during an online session.

The session, Nurturing Students in STEM Education, is to encourage girls to pursue “STEM” — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — that teachers and women in that field feel many girls shy away from.

The one-hour session for Class VIII students was organised by BDM International recently to “catch them young” so that they were encouraged to take up science.

“You ask your mom or any of your aunts, teachers, and they would tell you that the impediment that a woman faces in their work fields is work-life balance, especially women in engineering and computing…,” said Julie Basu Ray, an assistant professor at the departments of  biology and health sciences at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee.

Basu Ray also said women were victims of stereotypes and biased behaviours. “Sometimes these come from within our family or teachers. They would say boys are much better in maths than girls…,” she said.

Basu Ray’s views resonated with what a woman associated with stem in the city had to say. “The gender roles that are assigned at birth leads to discrimination and that has to be addressed first to initiate a change in the mindset,” said Rahi Soren, an assistant professor at School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University. She was not a part of the session.

Madhumita Seal, the vice-principal of BDM International who organised the session, said she planned to continue such sessions for students of other schools as well.

“For the students of Classes VIII and IX, the session is to encourage them and for those in Classes XI and XII, it is to see that they do not drop out. Often we have seen that women give up careers in STEM because it is time consuming and marriage or family takes precedence,” said Seal.

Source: Telegraph

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