Today Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez, National President Connie Lindsey, National Board Member Debra Nakatomi and teen Girl Scouts participated in a briefing on Capitol Hill with Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. The briefing was designed to alert Members of Congress and their staff about the robust agenda of Girl Scouting, specifically focusing on Girl Scouts Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives and the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary.
“Girl Scouts has a 100 year history of providing young women with the tools to be successful, and increasingly, a focus on science, technology, engineering and math education is critical to prepare them for higher education and eventually, the workforce,” said Chávez and Lindsey. “We are pleased to join with Girl Scout leadership from across the country to ensure that our representatives in Washington learn about the outstanding track record of Girl Scouting as we prepare next generation of engineers, scientists, teachers and leaders.”
Recently, the Girl Scout Research Institute released “Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.” The study showed good news - 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM subjects and the general field of study, and they are drawn by the creative and hands-on aspects of these subjects. But there is more work to be done - girls are also aware that gender barriers persist as 57 percent of all girls say that if they “went into a STEM career, they’d have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.”
The study shows that although interest in STEM is high, with 82 percent of all girls seeing themselves as “smart enough to have a career in STEM”, few girls consider it their number one career option. 81 percent of girls interested in STEM are interested in pursuing STEM careers, but only 13 percent say it is their first choice. Girls say that they don’t know much about STEM careers and the opportunities afforded by STEM fields. For example, 60 percent of girls who say they are interested in STEM say they know more about other careers than they do about STEM careers.
“Our research clearly shows that the more girls learn about STEM and the more we support them and mentor them, the higher the chance they will choose STEM careers,” concluded Nakatomi “With the help of our leaders in Washington, we can continue to work together to support all girls, ensuring they reach their leadership potential.”