So, your six-year-old daughter has been dreaming of becoming a computer scientist. And, as much as you tell her that she will be able to do anything she wants to do, what you’re not telling her is the reality of the gender gap within every STEM field in this country. In fact, any field to do with science, technology, engineering or math has been dominated by men, and shielded from women, for centuries, and the effects of this remain today. According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, highlighted by Forbes, only one out of every seven engineers is a female, and there has been no employment growth for women in the STEM fields since 2000.

The reasons behind this gap are varied, but we do know that a presence of more females in the STEM fields is a huge need. A lack of encouragement of girls to pursue math and science most definitely persists even at the grade school age. This subtle gender bias, mixed with a lack of female role models in STEM fields as it is, can change the direction of thousands of girls’ lives who may have once wanted to invent the next technological breakthrough. “The reason there aren’t more women computer scientists is because there aren’t more women computer scientists,” said Jocelyn Godfen, director of engineering at Facebook, summing up the problem to Forbes.

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