At Refinery29, our new rallying cry is #WeWantMore. We're encouraging women of all ages to go out and get what they deserve. Obviously, that's not so simple — there are plenty of obstacles to overcome, and it can be terrifying to speak up for what you want. It can also be really hard if you don't have mentors who encourage you to have the confidence to take that leap.
One issue that keeps coming up again and again when discussing the gender wage gap is how to encourage more women to pursue careers in science and technology. After all, STEM careers are among the best jobs out there, and the war for talent is real. According to Verizon, there are 4 million jobs in science and technology, so it shouldn't be a big surprise that the tech company is investing in its future by funding a huge campaign to encourage students to pursue STEM professions.
The $160-million-dollar campaign, #WeNeedMore, will bring technology and role models to underserved communities in a play to encourage kids to dream of becoming coders and scientists — not basketball players or supermodels. (LeBron James and Adriana Lima are among the celebrities in Verizon's ad for the campaign.) The website also serves as a hub for educators and students, where they can view, share, and interact with specially-designed content created to inspire students' interest in tech and science.
According to Verizon, the money will help 300,000 students in 1,900 clubs and schools nationwide. Sure, that's just the tip of the iceberg, but it's a start. Because the need for more female scientists and technologists is real, and encouraging young girls to pursue big jobs in STEM will help close the pay gap that much quicker. Now if we could just figure out how to encourage big business to subsidize day care.
It’s 2017, and yet women are still fighting for equality. Data suggests it will take until 2152 to close the gender wage gap, but it shouldn’t take a century to get what we want. We want more, and Refinery29 is here to help — because 135 years is too long to wait for what we deserve today.