In order for the United Nations to achieve its stated Sustainable Development Goals for the future we need to make some big changes. These sustainability goals are focused on increasing the use of clean energy, building more sustainable cities, and improving how we treat our planet.
It is easy to talk about problems. I am here to share my thoughts on how we work together to solve tough issues through collaboration, innovation, and a new way of thinking.
Truly, the solution is pretty easy. We just need more STEM talent to fill the skill shortages in STEM related fields. This gap is growing and we need to reverse the trend in order to solve the technical challenges related to clean energy, building more sustainable cities, and saving the planet.
So let’s begin by asking some questions:
Is there a STEM talent shortage? Yes. 5-15% of all jobs are engineering related depending on the definition. The average engineer today has 30 years of experience and they are retiring faster than they are being replaced. The semi-conductor industry, telecommunications and artificial intelligence industries are just a few arenas where talent is lacking.
Why is there a shortage? Lack of awareness? Fear of math? Lack of understanding? The list of reasons is challenging but worthy of effort to overcome and resolve.
What is the downside if we do nothing? Pretty catastrophic! Doing nothing is not an option if we want our grandchildren to survive on the planet as we know it today.
Is there a solution or easy fix? I say emphatically, YES!
The answer is simple, just two words. These two words are the solutions to many problems in the manufacturing and technology industries. What are the magic words?
Think about it… Men aren’t filling all of the required jobs. They need women to fill in the gaps. The widening shortage of STEM workers can’t be solved unless women step it up.
I have published several articles on how to attract more women into STEM roles. The formula is simple:
- Start early. Plant the seeds early (elementary school).
- Provide role models & mentors to these aspiring young women.
- Create programs that are exciting and compelling.
- Create corporate partnerships committed to support women in STEM.
- Support women throughout their careers.
My career is centered around robotics and industrial automation. I see what I do and what other amazing women do every day is making American manufacturing and technology more competitive, and we are doing it in a more sustainable way. I see the need for great acceleration in advancing technology across all STEM related industries. We need more talent.
We need “More Women.”
Let’s Go Ladies!
Gretchen Philyaw is President of Magenta Technologies LLC, an Atlanta-based industrial automation company and founder of USA Loves Manufacturing, an organization promoting and advocating USA manufacturing and technology. Gretchen envisioned an organization that would support the manufacturing & technology arena and lift up the people that make it happen everyday.