The Importance of Mentorship for Women in STEM

Women have long been underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, making up less that 30% of the STEM workforce.

Dr. Hernandez, an associate professor specialising in science education, is dedicated to increasing diversity within STEM fields, with a particular focus on gender representation in geosciences. Hernandez, in collaboration with other researchers, has recently secured a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand these efforts.

In their most recent publication, Dr. Hernandez and his team revealed that, statistically, female mentors can significantly influence female STEM students into staying motivated in their studies.

When young women are partnered with mentors, they feel supported, acknowledged, and included. Role models assist in retaining women in STEM, encouraging young women and girls to go into STEM fields, and keeping them engaged.

Feeling Supported

It is important for women to have multiple sources of support; having various mentors to turn to for different needs. Those needs may be to seek advice, develop skills, or find attainable role models. That support can have a profound impact on young women, helping to keep them motivated, inspired, and included.

A quote from our WISE Young Professionals Board podcast episode supports this notion:

“The more women I see ahead of me, the more mentors and role models I see… I don’t feel so lonely, I don’t feel like [being a woman in STEM] is such an issue anymore.”

My Skills My Life

My Skills My Life is a tried and tested outreach resource created by WISE to inspire girls aged 11-19 to consider a career in STEM. It allows girls to find out about their preferred personality types and matches them with role models who have rewarding and successful careers in STEM.

We have an online platform with over 1000 role model case studies, which include information about pathways and brings the role models to life. It also includes information about companies and the opportunities they have to offer. We also have a paper version of the resource available. Whether you are a company looking for support with your outreach programmes, an individual wanting to help inspire the next generation, a teacher looking for careers resources or someone looking for career advice and inspiration yourself, My Skills My Life can help you.

Why My Skills My Life? 

My Skills My Life is unique as a careers tool in that it doesn’t just showcase STEM careers but focuses on fantastic people who are working in STEM. Research-based, My Skills My Life uses role models and personality traits to help girls identify with their STEM-identity. The resource can be used flexibly and tailored to your needs by using the paper resource, online tool, inviting role models or using our role model profiles.