Ask the experts: How do we get girls into STEM?

Story highlights

  • The shortage of women in STEM industries is a growing problem
  • As part of Leading Women's month of STEM coverage we asked experts for a solution
  • Women in STEM gave us a range of solutions from toys to mentoring
Just one in seven engineers are female, only 27% of all computer science jobs are held by women, and "women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000" reports Forbes.
Women who work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, and those who campaign for higher numbers of women in these fields, think they have some solutions to this growing problem.
1. "The toys and games that young girls play with mold their educational and career interests; they create dreams of future careers." says Andrea Guendelman, co-founder of Developher.
Andrea Guendelman, co-founder of Developher
"Extensive research shows that certain toys and games can help young children develop the spatial logic and other analytical skills critical to science, technology, engineering and math.
"A huge part of the reason women are not entering these fields and huge part of the solution starts at the very beginning."
2. "Introduce girls early to role models of other women In STEM" suggests Regina Agyare, founder of Soronko Solutions.
Regina Agyare, founder of Soronko Solutions
"[These women] will mentor them and introduce them to STEM through games and practical learning experiences."
3. "It's important to engage girls in STEM at an early age and keep them interested." adds Patty L. Fagin, PhD, Head of School at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.
"Girls start out as strong in math and science as boys, but lose interest along the way; we call this the "leaky pipeline." Grow the pipeline, keep girls engaged, and we'll increase the number of women in STEM.
"Create opportunities for success and safe environments in which to fail. They'll learn to persevere and develop a growth mindset, so critical to success in STEM fields ... instead of "this is hard, I can't do it," they will believe, "I can try another way."
Patty L. Fagin, PhD, Head of School at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
"Girls want to make a difference, so give them hands-on, real-world problem-solving activities to show STEM is relevant and fun.
"Expose girls to the different areas of STEM and provide women mentors for girls and young women, so they, in turn, will mentor other girls."
4. "There's no magic recipe for getting girls into STEM, but we know early and positive exposure makes an impact." Karen Horting, CEO and Executive Director at the Society of Women Engineers told CNN.
Karen Horting, CEO and Executive Director at the Society of Women Engineers