CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Friday and Saturday female STEM professionals around the world including our own Meteorologist Kalie Pluchel will be wearing purple to promote "Dress for STEM".
It's important, more now in the midst of a pandemic that we need more scientists and that means inspiring young girls.
This is the fifth year for Dress for STEM which brings awareness to the need for more women in science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM careers. This movement started with a group of female meteorologists and their desire to inspire girls to translate a passion for STEM fields into degrees and employment.
So why exactly is this important? Women currently hold only 28% of science and engineering jobs despite making up 47% of the general workforce.
It all starts at a young age. Many girls are interested in math and science, but because of gender stereotypes, it can prevent them from pursuing higher education and careers in these fields.
The Society of Women Engineers reported that fewer than 10% of female college freshmen indicate intentions to major in STEM fields and over 32% of women switch out of STEM degree programs *before graduation*.
Just looking at broadcast meteorologists alone. Only 29% of women hold these positions with only around 8% of them holding a Chief Meteorologist title.
It's so important to make sure our young women are reminded that these fields are for everyone to build our STEM workforce with educated and amazing women.
Start the conversation, wear purple, and together we can change these statics for the better. You can share your photos on social media with the hashtag, #DressforSTEM.