STEM fields have traditionally been male-dominated, but this is rapidly changing. There are so many inspirational and successful women in STEM who are taking the world by storm and chipping away at the glass ceiling.
Get active in your alumni network
Don’t wait too long to join your alumni network. At Grand Canyon University, our Office of Alumni Relations can connect you to post-graduation resources, events and opportunities to get involved.
Staying in touch with female classmates who entered STEM fields is a good way to grow your professional network. And perhaps in a few years, you’ll get back in touch with the campus to mentor other women going into science or mathematics.
Look for a support group
Now that there is a growing public awareness of the need for more women in STEM, there are also more support organizations for women. Look for a support group for women in your field whether it be locally or online. There are often conferences regarding women in STEM which makes for a great way to meet new friends, as well as market yourself to others.
Find a mentor
All tech professionals can benefit from having a mentor and this is especially true for women who face unique challenges in these fields. If you work for a large company, your employer may offer a mentorship program.
Ask at your human resources department. Alternatively, you could try your alumni network or professional organization. Your mentor can serve as a sounding board, giving you invaluable feedback and guidance.
Practice assertiveness and self-confidence
There is a widespread implicit bias that women who are assertive are just being “bossy.” Don’t let this discourage you. Successful women in STEM work at being assertive in a positive, professional way. Being diplomatically assertive involves:
- Voicing your opinions during meetings
- Being direct and bold in expressing ideas
- Listening to the viewpoints of others, even if you disagree
- Seeking common ground that doesn’t compromise core values
It’s easier to practice assertiveness when you are already confident in your own abilities. Remind yourself that you graduated because you earned your degree and that you earned your place in the workforce too. You belong there—don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Forge your own path
Some of the greatest minds in science, math, and engineering challenged and downright undermined what was once commonly accepted. If you have confidence in your abilities and ideas, then there’s no reason why you can’t forge your own path. You can succeed at anything you put your mind to: create something new, make something better, or start your own company.
Here at Grand Canyon University, we genuinely care about our students’ success. You’ll find a wealth of student resources on campus, including the GCU Learning Lounge, fitness centers, and our health and wellness clinic. Click on the Request More Information button to explore our Christian learning community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.