What's in a name?
Today is International Women's Day 2022!
Police Officers, not Police Men
Firefighters, not Firemen
Engineers, not Lady Engineers
Postal Workers, not Postmen
Chairperson, not Chairman
Astronaut, not Spaceman
Humankind, not Mankind
Conversely, it's about:
Air Attendants, not Air Hostesses
Ballet Dancers, not Ballerinas
Nurses, not Male Nurses
and many, many more...
STEAM is changing, but there is still a way to go. Only 19% of students studying Engineering and Technology at university currently identify as female. Since 2016, the number of women working in STEAM fields has increased by 216,552, which has taken the total number over the 1 million mark for the first time ever! This means women now make up 24% of the STEAM workforce in the UK. Using the data trends from the last ten years, 2009-2019, it is estimated that by 2030, they expect to reach over 29% of women in the STEM workforce.
Slow progress, albeit in the right direction.
What we say has an impact on what we believe is possible. Gender-neutral terms are an integral part of empowering women (and men) in the workplace and beyond. As a society, we are stronger if we utilise the full power and knowledge of EVERYONE. Fail to utilise half of the world's talent, and we are doomed never to harness humankind's full potential.
So #breakthebias and talk to your daughters about astronauts, rather than spacemen. If she believes that the sky really is the limit today, image what she may achieve tomorrow...