By Autumn Knoop
In the past 60 years, the rate of female college attendance has increased by 34.7%, and women now make up 46.8% percent of the workforce in America. According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women now occupy 28% of the jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) departments. Women are receiving a high level of education and filling a variety of jobs like never before.
Over the past month, I paired up with the Girl Up Club and asked the young women at Council Rock North high school what they intend to pursue in their futures. In an interview with Marelise Steyn, a Senior at CRN, I asked what career she wanted to pursue and why:
“I want to be a Clinical psychologist. Psychology is my favorite subject this year, and I want to learn more in this field. Also, I want to help people improve their mental health so that they can live healthy, fulfilling lives.”
Many of the girls I interviewed were interested in the sciences, which may reflect a broader trend that women are interested in the STEM field more than they have been in the past.
Along with conducting interviews, I released a Google form asking the girls at Council Rock North for their current grade level and what they wanted to pursue in the future. Out of 26 participants, 15 were seniors, seven were juniors, three were sophomores, and one was a freshman.
The vast majority of the participants wanted to pursue careers within the STEM fields, including Environmental Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Neuroscience, just to name a few. The medical field was the most popular career category. Law was the second most popular, while Environmental Studies, Art and Design, and Business and Technology came in third.
An increasing number of women are pursuing professional degrees and careers. Over the past few decades, their career goals have shifted to the STEM fields. The young women at CRN are following these trends. As seen above, 53.8 % of the participants plan to pursue a STEM career and will pave the way for future students interested in the STEM field.
Good luck to the girls in the class of 2021, and thank you to the Girl Up Club for collaborating with me for this article.