Following up on a United Nations resolution last year to establish February 11 as the annual day to promote women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Lockheed Martin (Chalet CS02) is trying to encourage promising female students to get excited about the subjects.
In partnership with UN Women (Singapore), LM ran an afternoon session “Girls Take Flight” on February 15 for some 250 female students from 10-to-15 schools in Singapore to come together with women who were leaders in their fields in an effort to inculcate an interest for careers in STEM-related industries. Women remain an “invisible force” in the industry.
Industry-leading speakers addressing the audience included: Lt. Col. Carrie M. Howe, Marine Attaché to the Republic of Singapore, U.S. Marine Corps; Claire Deevy, head of economic growth initiatives, Asia Pacific, Facebook; and Dr. Guo Huili, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology scientist, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star). The contributors spoke about their varied roles within STEM-related activities in industry, their shared experiences, and key challenges they faced.
“The program in Singapore has been designed to provide an inspiring and more inclusive pathway for young female students in Singapore to the stimulating world of STEM,” said a Lockheed Martin official.
India is also taking a lead in the region. “We recognize the importance of STEM education, as these days, for many students, science is not their primary choice. The recently launched India Chapter of Women in Aviation has drawn out an extensive plan for aspiring young students in this field to create awareness and interest through field trips and mentoring,” said Radha Bhatia, chair WAI India Chapter and secretary, Bird Education Society for Travel & Tourism.
Women are significantly under-represented in the aviation industry. Even in the U.S., only 6.6 percent of women are pilots and only 2.2 percent of mechanics are female, according to a study by U.S.-based Women in Aviation, International.
STEM subjects are considered important not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively.