Girls need mentors
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I was dismayed when I read "Why are Utah women far behind men in STEM education, jobs?" (Tribune, June 8). I had just attended the annual dinner for the Utah section of the Society of Women Engineers the night before.

After 30-plus years in engineering, I attest to the discouragement that women have received for years about pursuing STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math). Over the years, I have witnessed countless negative comments and situations.

I agree wholeheartedly agree with Cynthia Furse, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Utah, that women need mentors in STEM fields — a champion (policymaker) who recognizes the worth and potential of their female contributors.

Many studies say that the need for encouragement or mentoring is a major cause of low female participation in STEM careers. The findings clearly show that if girls aren't reached by middle school age, their chances of choosing and succeeding in a STEM career are much lower.

Marilyn Marshall

East Millcreek