In today's society, the gender pay gap remains a persistent issue, affecting women across various demographics. The detrimental consequences are far-reaching, both for individuals and society as a whole.
1. Why it's Important:
According to the article titled "The Lifetime Wage Gap, State by State," women stand to lose significant earnings over their careers due to the pay gap. On average, a working woman earns only 70% of what a man in the exact same position would earn. If left unaddressed, the gender pay gap undermines financial security, retirement prospects, and the ability to provide basic needs for herself and her family. (All sources are cited below.)
2. The Scope of the Problem:
The gender pay gap is primarily fueled by discrimination based on factors such as gender, race, and education level. As stated in "The Gender Pay Gap" article, women working full-time in the U.S. are paid only 83% of what men earn. Additionally, female managers face a pay gap of 23 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts, as highlighted in "Women in the Workforce: The Gender Pay Gap Is Greater for Certain Racial and Ethnic Groups and Varies by Education Level." This wage discrepancy is a clear reflection of discrimination within the workplace.
3. Financial Security:
The gender pay gap has severe implications for women's financial well-being throughout their lives. The article "Not-So-Golden-Years" reveals that women have only 70% of the overall retirement income that men possess. This disparity is created by the pay gap, which also contributes to delayed student loan repayments and lower retirement savings. Women are forced to work longer and harder to overcome these financial hurdles.
4. Racial Discrimination:
The gender pay gap is further magnified when considering racial and ethnic disparities. Hispanic or Latina women earn about 58 cents, and Black women earn approximately 63 cents for every dollar earned by White men, according to "Women in the Workforce: The Gender Pay Gap Is Greater for Certain Racial and Ethnic Groups and Varies by Education Level." The gap for women in racial and ethnic minorities is projected to persist for centuries at the current rate. This inequality demands immediate action to rectify the imbalance.
Women with higher education levels face significant disparities. "We Need to Address the Gender Pay Gap for College Women" reveals that women often need a degree one level higher than men to achieve equal earnings. This not only places women in more debt but also widens the lifetime wealth gap. Equal pay must be ensured regardless of educational attainment.
6. Bias, Stereotypes, and Early Interventions:
Many argue that gender pay gaps arise from women's career choices, but this overlooks the biases and stereotypes that shape those choices. From childhood, girls are encouraged to pursue lower-paying fields and are discouraged from certain subjects like math and science. The biased portrayal of women in literature, as evidenced by a study on sexism and stereotypes in children's literature, perpetuates harmful gender roles. Addressing these biases early on through education and empowering young girls is crucial to fostering equality.
7. Taking Action:
To combat the gender pay gap, it is essential to raise awareness and inspire action. Educating oneself about the issue is the first step. Engaging in conversations and spreading awareness can help create a movement for change. Achieving equal pay for equal work requires collective efforts and advocacy from individuals, organizations, and policymakers alike.
The gender pay gap represents a persistent injustice that affects women's lives in profound ways. By addressing discrimination in the workplace based on gender, race, and education level, we can build a society that values equality and fairness. Closing the pay gap requires concerted efforts, from raising awareness to implementing policies that promote pay parity. It is incumbent upon all of us to work together to ensure equal pay for equal work and create a future where everyone can thrive.
Deeper in Debt. www.aauw.org/resources/research/deeper-in-debt/.
Does the Gender Pay Gap Explain Why Women Complete College at Higher Rates Than Men? www.prb.org/articles/does-the-gender-pay-gap-explain-why-women-complete-college-at-higher-rates-than-men/.
Hamilton, Mykol C., et al. "Gender stereotyping and under-representation of female characters in 200 popular children’s picture books: A twenty-first century update." Sex roles 55 (2006): 757-765.
Not-So-Golden Years. www.aauw.org/issues/equity/retirement/.
The Gender Pay Gap. www.aauw.org/issues/equity/pay-gap/.
The Lifetime Wage Gap, State by State. nwlc.org/resource/the-lifetime-wage-gap-state-by-state/.
We Need to Address the Gender Pay Gap for College Women. www.bestcolleges.com/blog/addressing-the-gender-pay-gap/.
Why Women Don't Apply for Jobs Unless They're 100% Qualified. hbr.org/2014/08/Why-women-dont-apply-for-jobs-unless-theyre-100-qualified.
Women in the Workforce: The Gender Pay Gap Is Greater for Certain Racial and Ethnic Groups and Varies by Education Level,www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-106041#:~:text=For%20example%2C%20in%202021%3A,18%20cents%20on%20the%20dollar).
Women of Color and the Wage Gap. www.americanprogress.org/article/women-of-color-and-the-wage-gap/.
This blog was submitted by SpiderByte, FTC team 10216. If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!
We are Team SpiderBits 17219, an all-girls FTC team based Laurel, Maryland. Our team mission is to bridge the gender gap in STEM and outreach is one of the most vital ways that we do this. As a FIRST team, our main values include friendly sportsmanship, respect for others, teamwork, learning, and community involvement. We promote these values in our community by making outreach a core part of our team. To us, outreach is connecting with students, peers, adults, and anyone who wants to learn about STEM and teaching them about it. Our main source of outreach is going to elementary and middle schools and teaching workshops about robotics. Just recently, we held a 7 week long club with Whetstone Elementary Schoo, located in Gaithersburg, Marylandl. By sponsoring this club, we were able to visit the school and teach a group of 3-5th graders about different aspects of robotics. Not only did we introduce them to our robot, but we started teaching them how to code, create 3D models, use the engineering design process, and how robots are used in the real world.
The lesson that was the most successful was the public speaking lesson. We thought it would be a great idea to teach the students about public speaking since we use it so much during our competitions, fundraising, and in all sorts of situations on the team. We had each of the students get into small groups and create a pitch to sell an extremely valuable product: a single paperclip. The students were elated at this opportunity and started coming up with interesting ways to make us buy the paperclip from them. Finally, they got to present their pitch to the whole class and see their creativity in action! With this activity, we were able to show them the importance of public speaking and be able to pass on the torch of outreach to the next generation.
Out of all the things we gain from holding these workshops, what our team found the most fulfilling was the feeling of teaching these students about a subject that we are all so passionate about. Going from school to school, making connections with students and teachers alike, as well as hearing about the effects we have on the kids we teach are the best parts of the whole experience. They make all the time and effort put into organizing these events worth it in the end.
This blog was submitted by Aditi C. and Pooja D. of Spiderbits, FTC team 17219 . If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!
Greetings, We are Team 4085! Established with just a handful of members in 2011, our team today has grown significantly to almost 50 members. We owe our growth and success over the past decade to FIRST, as well as the guidance and mentorship provided by our coaches, mentors, and sponsors. Currently, we are a team of 62 members, including mentors, and are honored to uphold FIRST's values. We are split into 9 subteams— some of which being under a marketing category, and the rest being under a build category. The subteams include mechanical, electrical, software, fablab, tactical, business, outreach, media and design. Our team is committed to promoting STEM education among young people, which we view as a key objective of FIRST.
We take pride in being a student-led team, with various sub-teams collaborating and communicating effectively throughout the build and event seasons. Each subteam is supervised by a designated leader, ensuring that all tasks are carried out efficiently. This past season we worked on ways to restructure our team to more effectively ensure that the sub-teams we have are working for our members. Each year during the robotics season and event season, we spend time focusing on how we can improve our team to be more efficient and successful.
Our outreach efforts extend beyond our team, as we endeavor to promote FIRST's message to the broader Columbus Ohio community. For instance, we partnered with StepAhead Tech to host a seminar aimed at introducing minority populations to STEM. We acknowledge that underrepresented communities often face challenges in STEM fields, and we are committed to addressing this issue. As such, we established a Robotics club at a local elementary school with a 71% minority enrollment, where we instruct over 90 students in STEM-related skills.
Our outreach events frequently center on our Girls in STEM initiative, which aims to encourage more girls to pursue STEM fields. We have successfully helped several troops earn STEM-related badges this year alone, inspiring a new generation of leaders. Additionally, we host Girls in STEM events explicitly designed for girls. Our team encourages girls in our community to explore STEM education along with various STEM fields.In the latest 2023 robotics season,team 4085 is made up of 46% of girls. In addition, for the upcoming season our CPM (Chief Project Manager) is a female who is taking the lead and initiative to drive our team to be the best we can be for next year. While there was tough competition for our leadership roles, for the next season our leadership team is made up of 50% of females! Additionally, we also have outreach events that target the younger generation of Reynoldsburg. We are constantly interacting with our youth through our outreach programs, which include some such as our robotics club at local elementary school Herbert Mills, our appearance at the city hall Christmas on the Town event, COSI (Center of Science and Industry, a Science museum here in central Ohio), and more. We also try to reach out to immigrants in our community, with the majority of the youth at these events being racial or ethnic minorities. This contributes to our newest outreach initiative, R.I.S.E. (Refugee and Immigrant STEM Experience)!
While team 4085 does not limit itself to just the female population, we strongly believe that everyone from anywhere deserves to explore the STEM experience. Rise, Tobi’s Toys, and Girls in STEM are all outreach initiatives that have been a part of team 4085 for the longest time. These outreach events are all ways to pave the way for the next generation of our team. Team 4085 is always up to date on posting about our events on our Instagram @techdiff4085.
This blog was submitted by Technical Difficulties, FRC team 4085. If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!
There are many inspiring women in STEM, both historically and in modern times. From cryptology, space exploration, programming, and mechanical engineering, these women were pioneers who paved pathways for more young girls to follow in their footsteps.
Ada Lovelace lived in England from 1815 to 1852. She was a mathematician and considered to be “the first computer programmer” for her analogies and visions of how a computer would work.
Her father, Lord Byron, was a famous poet who left both her and her mother when she was young. Her mother strongly disliked the idea of Ada following in her father's footsteps and encouraged her to follow her mathematical and scientific interests. Her mother loved these subjects and wanted her daughter to feel the same way. During the 19th century, women did not study math and science, but Ada’s mom insisted that her daughter be taught by skilled tutors in these fields. To encourage Ada’s STEM interests, she and her mother visited factories to learn about the mechanics of manufacturing devices, which was rare for women at this time. Here, Ada learned about the Jacquard loom, which is a machine that weaves patterns into fabric based on instructions from a punch card.
Later, Ada Lovelace met Charles Babbage. At the time, he was working on a mechanical calculator called the Difference Engine. She became a translator for Babbage, who only spoke English, and his French engineer. While doing this, she added her annotations and ideas to his work. She developed an analogy between the Analytical Engine, which was a more advanced mechanical calculator, and a weaving machine. She compared how they both followed patterns and code to perform a task. Unfortunately, Babbage didn’t get enough funding to finish the Analytical Engine and Lovelace’s notes were not used at the time.
Later, her notes were rediscovered, and her ideas deemed her the first computer programmer. Contrary to what many people of her time believed, she recognized the real potential of computers, besides calculating numbers. Although she was not able to program in a modern way, the principles she discussed in her notes were similar to how future computers would function. They were a big frontier in the Computer-Science field.
Genevieve Grotjan Feinstein
In high school, Genevieve Grotjan Feinstein excelled in all subjects, especially math. She graduated from University at Buffalo with a degree in mathematics. She worked as a substitute teacher, tutor, assistant to her professors, and delivered lectures on mathematical topics. After this, she hadc trouble finding a job teaching math, but was hired by the Army Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) for a civilian cryptology job.
She worked with a team to decode “PURPLE,” the encoded messages sent by Japan during WWII. In 1940, while analyzing the intercepted messages, she found repeating patterns of strings of words. Her discoveries sparked the development of a machine that decoded these messages. This provided crucial information to the military.
In 1943, Feinstein started working on the project “Verona.” She created a process to figure out when a key in an encoded message was reused. This helped decrypt messages from the KGB, the former Russian Intelligence Agency. This process provided more crucial intelligence to the US.
After working in the Cryptology field in the government for seven years, she resigned and started working as a mathematics professor at George Mason University. Her efforts to decode “PURPLE” were a major help to the United States and changed the course of History.
In 1956, Mae Jemison was born in Alabama but grew up in Chicago. From an early age, she knew she wanted to go to space. There were no female astronauts in space when she was growing up, but she was inspired by Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, who was played by Nichelle Nichols.
She excelled in high school, graduated at sixteen, and went to Stanford. She double majored in chemical engineering and African-American studies. After graduating, she went to medical school, during which she went to Cuba and led a scientific study for the American Medical Student Association. After this, Jemison worked in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand. She is fluent in Russian, Japanese, and Swahili, allowing her to manage healthcare for the Peace Corps. She came back to the US and worked as a general practitioner in Los Angeles while taking graduate-level engineering classes.
She applied to the astronaut program at NASA but after the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, NASA paused accepting new astronauts. The next year, she reapplied and was selected with fourteen others out of the 2000+ applicants. She was assigned to the STS-47 crew and worked as the mission specialist. They orbited Earth 127 times in eight days. She left NASA after six years of being an astronaut.
As the first African American female astronaut, she started other movements and groups to encourage science, math, space travel, and social change. In addition to this, she guest-starred on Star Trek: The Next Generation and worked as an environmental studies teacher at Dartmouth College. Her accomplishments revolutionized the future of young African-American girls.
This blog was submitted by Spiderbits, FTC team 17219 . If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!
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