Curious minds are needed in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in order to find innovative solutions to global issues. All children develop and grow to understand the world around them through a lens of curiosity, yet the cultural context surrounding gender stereotypes can create barriers to full access and participation in STEM for girls. The mission of the Metamorphosis Girls STEM Conference is to inspire and support girls to build and sustain their innate interests in STEM through a day of hands-on workshops, inspirational speakers and mentorship.
This event was created to support girls at a critical time when they are likely to become disengaged with STEM. Girls in middle school tend lose interest in STEM studies and careers despite high academic achievement in these disciplines, and a much lower number of women compared to men are choosing to enter and stay in careers in STEM fields, especially in the areas of mathematics, engineering and computer science. According to a recent Canadian study, men outnumber women in the Canadian STEM workforce by a ratio of 3:1. While gender disparity in STEM is a complex issue, we know that early and positive engagement in STEM and access to champions in STEM fields can greatly impact girls' decisions to pursue and perservere in STEM after high school.
The Metamorphosis Girls STEM Conference is one step in the journey towards transforming attitudes surrounding girls and women in STEM, and achieving equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM. If STEM is to be the driver of innovation and economic prosperity in Canada, we need everyone involved.