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What benefits are there to having more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields?

Sometimes I wonder at the 'battle' to get more girls and women involved in STEM fields and keep us there. Devil's advocate here (not necessarily my opinion or feelings) -- WHY do we need to gender balance these fields?

Off the top of my head I'm going to guess that nursing is a gender-heavy field for women. I don't really see a push to include more men or recruit them from high school. My guess is that boys are more likely to be encouraged to become doctors

Women have traditionally been seen as 'nurturers.' Men are seen as 'fixers.' To me they are actually the same thing... fixing problems is a way to take care of people and nurturing is a form of assistance.

Are we fighting for something we don't even want or need?

Some quotes from the article:

It is believed that women are more drawn toward professions that can improve society and individuals’ lives.

Young women often comment that they want a career where they can help make things better; this being the case, then engineering should be the ideal career choice.

The U of M engineering faculty still sees disappointing numbers in female enrollment, despite numerous efforts to even the gender balance. Only one in every six engineering student is a woman. At a sc...
Nicole von Lorne von St Ange's profile photoTeNeisha Ragin's profile photoMarsha Reid's profile photoSimply Successful's profile photo
While women were actively held back from pursuing careers in the sciences, men were never really held back from nursing - they, mostly, just chose not to and so allowed women to do it. (Gender stereotyping is for a different conversation)

I think that this is why there is more of a push to get girls interested in STEM, the gap is greater and people need to be pushed across. Hopefully once this is sorted there can be a push to fix the fields where males are under-represented, teaching, nursing etc.

This shift is fairly recent and change can't occur over night. The fact that interest is growing (albeit slowing) shows that this is a change we want and need.
I can understand trying to encourage more women into the field, but the need for gender balancing seems extreme.

I can't say that we're fighting for a lost cause either. The problem is societal. Girls are taught more to support rather than create (i.e. Nurses support Doctors) and given the notion that we can't handle quantitative reasoning. Or worse, because it's male-dominated, we can't (or shouldn't) do it.

I think they should leave the option open and encourage women to check out these fields. But to try to force it seems absurd.
My personal opinion is that the STEM fields requires both genders to truly flourish and get results... NOW! I also agree that it should be remunerated according with the effort.  I definite agree with Marsha... It should be a societal effort of encouraging (not oblying) girls from early ages to look STEM fields as opportunities... 
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