Careers prospects in science inspire girls

Imagine learning about career prospects when you were a young girl. This was possible last Saturday for girls engaged in science meeting women in biosciences to talk about what they do.

BeWise, in partnership with Young Women in Bio, introduced school girls to careers in science during a junior mentoring event at The Fleet Science Center’s, San Diego. Girls could meet women with careers in different fields in biosciences, volunteering from Women in Bio.

“There are more jobs out there that I knew” was repeated by the girls; “I wish I would have had this type of program when I was young” manifested volunteers mentoring the girls.

Both organizations goal is to inspire young women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). BeWise selects girls’ grades 7–12 from across San Diego County to explore their interest in science. Young Women in Bio is a special initiative of Women in Bio, an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences.

In a world where biotechnology companies continued to lead the way in the initial public offering (IPO), white men continue to dominate employment in the STEM workforce and in biotech’s boards. All efforts are critical to increase diversity. The work that organizations like Be Wise and YBIO developed are crucial. The lack of gender diversity in company leadership can have implications for long-term success.

The gap starts early. However, at the elementary school and middle school level, girls are starting to catch up in science achievement (Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress science exam).
Programs like the junior mentoring event contribute to close the gap. In the event last Saturday, leaders in bioscience explained how a medicine is developed, from the very basic science, through clinical testing and development, to marketing, followed by small groups discussion between girls and women in different fields such as clinical development, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, market access, business development and marketing.

Role model matters. If we want to change the current situation and increase gender diversity at all levels of the bioscience industry, we all need to take action and support girls in their development.