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.