The Issue: Gender Barriers in Science and Technology
In STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—gender barriers persist. Among science and engineering graduates, men are employed in STEM occupations at twice the rate of women, according to a 2013 census report, and “women’s representation in computer occupations has declined since the 1990s.” But these barriers don’t rise out of nowhere. They often begin in childhood, in the classroom, where unspoken assumptions about gender roles cause many girls to stay silent during these subjects, even when they’re interested. In fact, “57% of girls say they’d have to work harder than a man just to be taken seriously.”
The Campaign: Engaging Girls in STEM Programming
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana to provide safe, supportive opportunities for girls to learn about STEM fields. For every $300 raised, Girl Scouts can provide one year of STEM programming for one girl aged 5–17. During these STEM activities, girls might make their own slime, program a Lego robot, or test a myth of their choosing. They might also visit technology sites to learn more about engineering, meet women in the field—from project managers to product developers—and even build their own icebox derby car. This year, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana aims to provide 300 STEM programs for up to 6,000 local girls.
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
There's never a reason to feel guilty about buying an extra box of Thin Mints. Since 1917, the Girl Scout Cookie Program has not only supported educational programs, it's taught millions of girls financial-literacy tools, from money management to goal setting and business ethics. And that’s just one way Girl Scouts empowers girls. As the largest girl-serving organization in the US, it helps its members build assertiveness, leadership, and character as they engage in science, technology, engineering, and math. Young girls and teens participate in a variety of other programs, too, from environmental-service projects to photography, athletics, and global travel.
A Council of the larger organization, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana consists of more than 69,500 girls and 24,600 adults who help facilitate the activities. Together they learn decision-making skills, become confident in voicing their opinions, and ultimately, make the world a better place.