I’m tickled to welcome Alice back this week to talk about encouraging women to join the technology boom! She reminds us of the importance to encourage girls in their pursuit of STEM related interests… AND she’ll be speaking over the next month to hundreds of high school girls at the DeVry HerWorld events. Welcome back Alice and thanks for the inspiration! Since she reminded me I took my 5 year old with me today to get my taxes done – explaining that our CPA was getting PAID for doing MATH. She really dug that – Math is her favorite subject!
Betsy Speare, Principal Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Windows Server, Happy Family member, new Green Lake, Seattle Resident, 15 years at Microsoft, EWU CIS grad and chicken farmer (total 3 now – getting eggs)!
Here’s a bit about our guest blogger this week, Alice Pang:
Alice grew up in Louisiana and came out to sunny California after high school to attend Stanford University, where she received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering/Software. She then moved across the bay to get her M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research/Management of Technology through the Haas School of Business and College of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. While at Stanford and Berkeley, she was heavily involved in various dance groups and enjoyed organizing networking, mentoring, and community outreach events for the Society of Women Engineers.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, discovering new places to eat, rock climbing, learning aerial silk tricks, riding motorcycles, and sharing Louisiana and Chinese culture with her friends. As a Microsoft Developer Evangelist, she focuses on WebMatrix. You can follow her on Twitter @alicerp and her MSDN blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/alicerp.”
DeVry HerWorld: Barbie’s been introduced to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)! Next stop? High school juniors and seniors in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Colton
Christmas 2010 present from a friend. What does it say about me when I quickly noticed that her monitor says “Barbie” in binary-Ascii?
When I was in middle school, I remember being told by a boy that I couldn’t possibly be good enough at math to even place in the top 10 at a district competition, because he figured the winner would be male. A month later I placed first against the top Calculus students in the state of Louisiana.
The boy wasn’t the only one to suggest that perhaps men have an innate ability in math and science—an unfortunate statement, since I have seen proof of phenomenal, bright women in K-12 and collegiate education and in my professional career. I’ve often sat in my engineering classes and noticed that I am only one of two females in a class of 50+, and I wonder why there are so few women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. I have spoken with women who point out that they were not exposed to the idea of pursuing a STEM career early on or found their passions in other disciplines; it is not by any means due to an innate difference in ability between men and women. Women who choose to study in a STEM field can make an impact on the community and achieve ambitious goals in technology. It is imperative to recognize that women could really use the support to be leaders in our chosen pursuits.
In order to take a step in the right direction, we should all be involved in promoting women in STEM fields on three career levels: K-12, college, and professional. Introducing math and science in a fun and interactive way to primary and secondary school students exposes them to the possibilities in technology. Supporting collegiate and professional women is important for fostering a positive environment for us to excel in male-dominated fields. Mentoring relationships, public awareness events, and outreach opportunities are a few ways to encourage career growth for women in technology.
In the next few weeks, I’m excited to be speaking to hundreds of high school junior and senior girls at DeVry HerWorld events. In addition to sharing my personal experience, I plan to convince them of how exciting technology can be and the variety of STEM roles. Hopefully, they will be inspired by and understand the significance of Barbie’s transition from, “Math class is hard,” to Computer Engineer.
March 22: Las Vegas, NV
March 28: Los Angeles, CA
April 12: Colton, CA
HerWorld is an interactive workshop given by DeVry University to high school juniors and seniors across the country each year during National HerWorld Month. It introduces these young women to career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. Through a series of games, hands-on projects and live discussions with successful women from top companies in the local community, HerWorld inspires young women to use their talents and interests to succeed, and how to best prepare for college in order to achieve their aspirations.