"For decades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields (STEM) have suffered low numbers of women. Women hold more than 50% of jobs in the U.S. workforce, but fewer than 25% of those are STEM jobs.
Thanks in part to the Internet age and the ubiquity of handheld technology, slow but steady shifts in those numbers are beginning to be seen. In school, girls are taking more math and science courses than ever before and more women are making their way into STEM jobs out of necessity. There’s some solid motivation for girls to pursue these fields: Women in STEM jobs earn 33% more than women in non-STEM fields, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. And if current trends continue, greater numbers of jobs are going to require STEM knowledge in the future.
Nevertheless, significant gender gaps in these fields remain, particularly in physics, computer science and engineering, and minority and low-income girls continue to be especially underrepresented, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project. To fill these gaps and encourage girls to explore STEM subjects from the earliest stages of their academic careers, a growing number of organizations are working to instill a sense of enthusiasm and mastery for girls in subjects that have long been erroneously considered the realm of boys. Below are 6 organizations providing top-notch STEM opportunities for girls of all ages — whether they’re already interested in science, or just need a little push to open that door. They represent just a small sample of the many programs now in development and in action that aim to change the gender landscape in STEM fields.