For many years, women in traditionally male career pathways have banded together for support, companionship and to assist each other with career advancement. Nothing different than what men do. The difference with women is that they weren’t always welcome in the informal spaces men created to connect with each other on the job. These women’s networks serve as a safe private space for women to help each other on the job.
The first networks to appear were for women in STEM Career Pathways that require advanced degrees such as women doctors. Nowadays there’s a network for women in almost ALL Career Pathways because of the many robust private Facebook groups that have sprung up. The Female Mechanics Society has nearly 7000 members with daily posts from women of all ages. I know some of you are thinking your students don’t use Facebook, but a glance into these Facebook groups reveals many of the women participating are in their 20s and 30s.
Here are a few I belong to:
Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) (12K members)
Female Mechanics Society (7k members)
Women in Construction (23k members)
Women of Trades (10k members)
Women Ironworkers (1k members)
You can search within the Group Section of Facebook to find others.
Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/feed/
Improve female retention in your STEM programs overnight by doing this one thing:
Encourage your students to find relevant, supportive Facebook groups on the very first day of class. Encourage them via two channels:
In your Learning Management System
Quick announcements during classes
Do you need more strategies to retain women in your STEM & CTE Programs? Talk with Donna about bringing a WomenTech Educators Workshop to your school or State. I can also help increase female and male enrollment in as little time as one semester.
Click the TALK TO DONNA button below to set up a convenient time to talk.
P.S. Do you have women’s networks other members of the WomenTech Educators Community would benefit from? Please let others know by commenting on my blog post.