Karen Purcell, P.E. founder, owner, and president of PK Electrical in Reno, NV–an award-winning electrical engineering, design and consulting firm–has published a book, Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Purcell holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Widener University and is highly sought for speaking engagements.
The key to turning aptitude into aspirations of a STEM career lies largely in the hands of parents , who are encouraged to take their well-intentioned praise for that science project or math test a few steps further and open your daughter's eyes–as well as your own–to the exciting possibilities that await her in such fields.
“The lack of exposure to STEM is a big hurdle for young girls,” says Purcell. “Girls who show interest in these subjects don't get to experience the level of exposure or encouragement as boys, and as a result, STEM-related careers are not within the realm of possibility for young women.”
It's well-documented that the United States is trailing other nations in STEM fields–particularly science and discovery– because fewer young people are pursuing STEM degrees in college.
“If we want to attract the best and brightest minds into the fields that will move us forward,” Karen points out, “we can no longer look to only half of the population. I strongly believe that young women–those who don't even know yet that they will enter these fields–are unquestionably the future of our profession and are the next great generation of brilliant female thinkers, problem solvers, leaders and entrepreneurs that the world needs in a big way,” she adds. For more information, or to learn how you can encourage girls to follow this very important career path, visit Karen’s blog at www. unlockingyourbrilliance.com.
Catherine DeCenzo is a freelance writer and Editorial Manager of I Am Modern magazine living in Broadlands, VA. She prefers the glass-half-full, humorous side of life and has an appetite for the irreverent in her personal blog at http://catclause.wordpress.com