Why It Matters
We’ve all seen the statistics that paint a bleak picture of female underrepresentation in STEM and the trades. These are problems of access, support, culture, and inclusion. These statistics represent more, however, than an unbalanced, unequal workforce; they are a dire implication of who gets to have a say in the authorship of our built world. What might our cities, technology, and environments look like if they were created by women, queer women, women of color, nonbinary individuals? We believe that addressing the problems of underrepresentation and retention of women in these career paths is not merely for statistical gain, but for the betterment of our world.
We are also living in a time in which teen girls face the intersectional pressures of race, identity, nationality and citizenship, mental health, body image and consent, academic stresses, and more. In traditional public schools, there are few supports available for the whole girl, honoring and taking into account all the socioemotional needs of a young woman.
Lastly, there is a common narrative that girls “aren’t interested,” or are “shy,” or “need to be encouraged.” This, too, is part of the problem. From what we’ve witnessed at Girls Garage, the narrative is quite the opposite: girls are hungry to be builders, leaders, to be given space, to take up space. They are the ones we’ve been waiting for.