The work environment has changed significantly to accommodate more people of all backgrounds. However, despite this progress, women remain a minority in many industries, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) positions, which only see 15% of women make up. In a previous post, we talked to the current Senior Director of Product Insights and Analytics at Linktree, Jess Box, who highlights the importance of reducing the gender gap through mentorship programs. She notes that women in the tech industry tend to lack role models, so it’s essential for women to connect with someone regarding their needs, desires, and goals in their personal and professional lives.
With this demand for connection-building and knowledge-sharing in STEM, plenty of organisations have risen to provide support resources to women. Some of these resources include learning applications, breaking down barriers, and helping women grow in the male-dominated industry. In this article, we’ll discuss how learning apps can support women in STEM.
Encourages collaboration and network-building
As mentioned earlier, mentorship is essential to growing a woman’s STEM career. However, reaching out to find mentors can be tricky, especially with limited reach in their proximity. Fortunately, online platforms and applications offer plenty of ways to reach out, collaborate, and learn from other women in STEM. On the student-driven platform Studocu, anyone from across the world can share study documents to help students ace their way through their courses, primarily through high school and university. Tools like practice sets, flashcards, and practice questions can help women better understand their STEM studies— helping them study more efficiently and excel in the field. Some social learning platforms take things further by enabling users to facilitate forum-like discussions, boosting social interaction, and enabling network-building.
Improves engagement with STEM learning
In many cases, girls are less interested in STEM because they are discouraged by general social bias and the lack of role models in the industry. As such, fewer girls take up STEM later in life— leading to a significant disparity between men and women in the field. To resolve this concern, many learning applications provide enriching activities and resources for girls to engage with the industry. The EY STEM App facilitated an extensive rollout by partnering with schools worldwide in 2022. This gamified mobile platform is aimed at girls aged 13-18 to nurture their confidence and competence in STEM. Girls can explore modules focused on new technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and 3D printing, and practice design thinking and problem-solving skills. By completing more activities on the app, girls benefit from consultations with women who have forged successful STEM careers, further encouraging them to pursue growth in the industry.
Personalised learning paths and goals
Alongside greater engagement, many learning applications offer specialised modules and systems catering to girls and women, with some using advanced technology to fit users better. Case in point, the digital platform Raising Smart Girls, which aims to harness AI to provide a personalised “playlist” of fields that best matches an individual’s interests, skill level, and age. Through their framework, much like existing social media platforms, Raising Smart Girls is meant to get people hooked on the STEM field based on previous behaviours on the platform. By establishing a balance between what women and the platform think they will like, people are encouraged to interact more with novel topics and specialities.
Getting women into the STEM industry remains a challenge. However, with the right push through learning applications and other resources, more women will be encouraged to join the industry. For further informative articles for women, we recommend checking out other articles on our website, Women Love Tech, for insights on careers, lifestyle, and other tech opportunities.
Article contributed by Ruthanne Jane.