Hi everyone! I’m Mahati Rayadurgam, a junior ambassador from Minnesota.
Before you read this, I want you to replay every advertisement where you’ve seen a doctor, engineer or other jobs talk to you in front of a TV screen. When you imagine this, out of all the times that you’ve seen a dentist holding toothpaste in front of you, or a doctor holding pain relief medicine, I can guarantee that seven out of ten times, it was a male dentist or doctor staring at you from the other side of the screen. But, females are allowed to be dentists and doctors, right? So why is it that you usually find yourself watching an ad with these stereotypes?
It is a fact that in many STEAM-related careers, the male population dominates the female population. But as our society moves forward day by day, the difference is positively getting smaller and smaller. Yet, there are still many areas of media and social life that influence the same past stereotypes, voluntarily or involuntarily. Television advertisements are only one sector of these examples. How many times have you been on an airplane? Out of these times, how many of the pilots have been females?
When I first discovered this concept, it shined a whole different light on my understanding of social cliches. Then I thought, well, why hasn’t anything been done yet? Some great moves are being taken to smooth out these folds, but then I thought well, why don’t I do something? Right now, everyone might not have the power to make drastic changes in the way society and media run. But every step we take—even if it’s just writing a blog post— Counts towards a much bigger problem in the world, whether you believe it or not.
Recently, I got an opportunity in school, to write a letter to a major political figure about a problem I thought was prevalent in this country, to try to make a change. My first thought came to the topic of gender equality. I decided to write about a smaller section of this problem and focused on equal pay in the workforce. Doing this action and mailing this out, may not have left the biggest dent in this problem, but no matter what, it did at least leave a mark in the universal problem of cliches when it comes to STEAM. So go out there, and make your mark.
Wayzata Central Middle School MN