You are probably aware of the fact that the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), are dominated by men. But do you know how this is affecting the level health care of all girls and women?
It is now widely known that countless women suffering from heart disease have been misdiagnosed only because doctors didn't know that women exhibit different symptoms than men. Women have also been suffering from side effects related to medications on a much larger scale because these medications go to market without ever being tested on women. For years, scientists had claimed that in order to avoid inconclusive results due to hormonal changes, clinical trials were largely focused on average males. But what can you do to bring a change to women's health care, and make sure that your daughter won't suffer the same risks?
To bring changes to the world of medical research, we need to add more women to that world. Historian Londa Schienbinger notes that "there are lots of places where you can show the direct link between increase in number of women and the outcome of knowledge." So by fostering your daughter's interest in science, you and her can help bring some real changes to the world of research. Here are a few simple ways you can start today:
Make it fun early on - Regardless of age, you can start taking her to museums, and introducing toys which make science interesting, cool, and fun for everyone. Here at Nawi Kids, we encourage you to start with dinosaurs and Paleontology because it's an easy and fun way to lead a child into science. But there are countless toys out there to choose from.
Talk to her - Ask what her interests are, and according to Girls Inc. "assume she is interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. Ask her what topics interest her... and introduce her to a variety of role models - especially women - so that she does not limit her dreams."
Don't give up - "Help her understand that making mistakes is a vital part of STEM and that making mistakes does not mean that someone is not 'good at science'." - Girls Inc.