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Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 28, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Maybe women just might not be interested STEM education

Why aren’t more women choosing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers? [“State needs to do more to get girls interested in STEM learning,” Opinion, July 25]. Schools, the media and society are all promoting STEM for students, including girls. Even the workplace is friendly and accommodating with supportive policies, environments and good wages. And yet, girls lose interest in STEM while in middle school. Why is that?

Women certainly have the opportunity as they are going to college and currently make up 57 percent of the nation’s student body. And while some percentage do choose to work in STEM-dominated companies, how many are actually doing the work of grinding out algorithms or designing and troubleshooting complex systems? I’m thinking substantially fewer than the 28-30 percent quoted in the editorial. And finally, if women do make STEM a career, there is a reasonable percentage that don’t stay. Again, why is that?

Here’s the answer no one wants to admit: Some women choose not to go into STEM because they simply don’t want to. Startling revelation? Not really. What’s really naive is assuming the sexes think and behave alike. Young women age into adults and their interests go elsewhere. Sexist? Yes. Honest? Yes again.

Merril Gordon, Mountlake Terrace

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, engineering, mathematics

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