It can be an uphill battle keeping the momentum for girls in STEM, admits Keka Nag, creative director at the Thinnox Academy in Mississauga. The school specializes in technology engineering and design for young adults in preparation for a university and career in fields such as engineering, architecture, graphic design or animation.
“We are always concerned about getting more girls into these fields, especially computer science, mechatronics, robotics and math. We want that healthy balance that motivates both boys and girls.”
Thinnox has been focused on expanding female enrollment, including offering a 50 per cent discount starting in 2017, as well as setting up speaking engagements and workshops with female chief executive officers and industry leaders. “There is a lack of knowledge about how girls can succeed in STEM- related fields,” Nag says. “They feel they might not do well because it’s competitive. But that’s a misconception. Girls possess wonderful leadership and design qualities, and are great at micromanaging projects and multitasking. If you give a girl the job of designing a game or building a 3D printer or a robotic car, they will enjoy that and be motivated.”