Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are subjects that are traditionally thought of as "boy oriented." How silly is that? According to the Girl Scout Research Institute study Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM subjects, and 82 percent see themselves as “smart enough to have a career in STEM.” (Obviously.)
Still, most girls don't choose STEM as a top career option -- 60 percent say that they know more about other types of careers -- and they're also aware of the gender barriers: 57 percent say that if they were to pursue a STEM career, they would “have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.”
The Girl Scouts aren't just passively collecting this information -- they're working with programs that engage girls in STEM activities. Through a $1 million AT&T Aspire contribution and also a partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences, Girls Scouts of the USA aim to spark STEM interest among underserved high-school girls to help identify and train young women scientists to serve as role models and mentors for girls.
Right now, just 46 percent of girls surveyed know a woman in a STEM career, but employment in those fields is increasing at a faster pace than other fields. And, as noted above, 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM. So if you've got the inclination, please do go for it (here are a few tips from the Girl Scouts).