Had a talk with a nale coworker today re: encouraging womem in STEM.
He didn't think there was a problem because he'd never been encouraged to go into STEM - thought this was a common experience male or female. He also felt like many women just weren't interested in STEM. I went online and pulled up statistics for him. We both learned that roughly 60% of bachelor's degrees are given to women but only 20% in Computer science, 20% in engineering and other dismal numbers. He still didn't see the problem. So I made it personal and shared my experiences with him.
Once that was said and done, he thanked me for being willing to (patiently) have this conversation with him. No one had before - so he never saw that there was a problem.
I left the conversation realizing that so many (potential) male allies are being overlooked simply because we there isn't enough open discourse. I encourage us all to continue to challenge the status quo and to have these oft difficult conversations.