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Women in STEM are still fewer than men. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are still male-dominated fields where only one in four STEM workers are women. Lack of confidence is often cited as a reason for this gap, however recent studies show women in STEM are more confident than men.
Technology is that stepping stone which finally allows us to bridge the gap between the number of men and women in STEM. Leveraging virtual events to create opportunities for women in STEM can be a step in the right direction.
From opening up new avenues for women to look for work to using virtual conferences to creating awareness let’s see how virtual events can be deployed in this mission to advance women’s careers in STEM.
Universities can encourage women to pursue careers in STEM via virtual conferences. These can create awareness among women around possible career options. Inviting women already dominating careers in STEM to these virtual conferences, hosting webinars on diversity and inclusion in STEM, and highlighting opportunities in the field, can help young girls consider it as a possible career choice. Watching other women talk in the field can boost confidence for aspiring women.
Furthermore, networking opportunities, virtual breakout sessions, and live chat tools within the virtual event platform, allow girls to reach out to these female role models in the field. They can talk about their fears and inhibitions and get direct guidance from women already familiar with the profession. Opening a world of opportunities for girls on the fence is possible via these virtual conferences.
Bringing girls early on to develop careers in STEM can prove to be beneficial. For example, schools can host virtual conferences for girls 13-16 years old. These conferences can focus on helping girls plan their STEM careers, or create awareness about women in the tech industry. To build interest, workshops on machine learning and other advancements can be conducted. Interactive sessions, quizzes, and gamification features on the virtual event platform can help these young minds develop a liking for the field.
Know more about hosting interactive virtual conferences for women in STEM.
Apart from creating interest early in their careers, women already in the field need opportunities to find work. Using virtual job fairs can be the most effective platform to connect potential employers with job seekers. This is an additional boost to women in STEM, helping them feel comfortable in their field.
For example, WiCys hosted a virtual job fair for women helping them find job opportunities in cyber security. Inviting various companies from Google, Facebook and others, women came to look for opportunities and apply for jobs most suited to them. Employers could also use the job filter feature, to hunt down CVs and resumes most relevant to their job openings and company requirements.
Hosting virtual job fairs can open up doors and allows women to build connections, interacting with like minded peers, gaining encouragement and confidence.
In addition to creating opportunities and awareness around women in STEM, virtual events can also improve gender parity in the tech industry. 71% of women who have been keynote speakers say that conferences are not designed with women in mind. Women surveyed say there is discrimination when it comes to conferences in the tech industry. However, pivoting to virtual events is gradually changing this for the better. Thus, along with creating opportunities, virtual events are also paving the way for greater diversity and inclusivity for women in STEM.
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