Why diversity in STEM matters?

Being a hot topic Recently, diversity and gender equity in STEM has been attracting a lot of attention and there has been considerable effort in the community to raise awareness and to take action. Diversity and gender equity in STEM is crucial to economic growth as it enhances innovation and excellence. This is an undeniable fact and that is why we see huge investments in diversity recently (such as Intel’s $300 million initiative to promote diversity in technology). Surely, other Industrial giants will soon have to follow the same path and we will be witnessing a huge movement in recognition and promoting diversity and gender equity and this is truly exciting for STEM community. 

The importance of diversity to STEM is well addressed and documented and I don’t want to go into details. What I would like to highlight  here is the fact that the importance of diversity in STEM is far beyond STEM community and in fact the diversity in STEM can benefit a much larger segment including the entire nations. Many may come to this conversation from different perspectives and see this too idealistic or unreal.  But we are all living in an era of border-less communication and indisputable spread of movements is not beyond reality. Although the effort toward diversity and gender equity seem to be more or less exclusive to advanced countries at the moment, there is a huge potential for the movement to be escalated and spread globally as social media continues to play a significant role in raising awareness even in the most remote countries. 

Terrorism and poverty, the two largest global crises, stem from discrimination and inequalities. Discrimination and inequality hurt not only individuals, but also families, communities and countries in sequence. Therefore, elimination of discrimination and inequality appears fundamental in fighting against terrorism and poverty which can be provided through implementing policies that empower minorities and underrepresented groups with equal access to opportunities. Additionally, well-educated and empowered minorities can grow into leadership roles where they can develop policies which support diversity further and well into future. 

So, as we continue to support diversity and gender equity in STEM, one thing is clear:  promoting diversity in STEM not only benefits the related community but also can spread, initiate and support diversity in other communities, creating a foundation for elimination of discrimination and inequality globally leading to a much happier and safer world for the current and future generation. 

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