Category

7 Things

Category

By Zahra Barnes and Christine Byrne

You’ve heard about zinc before, but do you know what it does for your health?

For starters, zinc is a trace mineral, meaning you only need to consume very small quantities in order to be healthy. “Women 19 years and older need eight milligrams of zinc daily, a pregnant woman needs 11 milligrams, and a breastfeeding woman needs 12 milligrams,” says Amy Gorin, R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area.

“Zinc is so often overlooked because it occurs in really small quantities,” says Amanda Bontempo, M.S., R.D. You don’t need to consume much daily, even though it has so many benefits and profoundly affects how your body works, she adds. “But because you need so little of it, it doesn’t take more than a mild zinc deficiency to affect you.”

Zinc keeps your blood sugar stable.

Insulin is the hormone responsible for keeping your blood sugar levels stable, which means it’s super important to overall health. Zinc plays a role in the synthesis, storage, and release of insulin in the pancreas, says Gorin.

So, a zinc deficiency could negatively affect insulin levels, which can lead to negative changes in appetite and blood sugar levels.

Zinc helps your body heal.

Zinc interacts with blood platelets to help with blood clotting, so getting enough zinc is an important part of helping cuts and scrapes heal properly, says Gorin.

Still, Bontempo says healing varies from person to person, so there’s no hard-and-fast rule about how slow is too slow for something to heal. But if you see a change in how well your body bounces back from an injury, a zinc deficiency may be the culprit.

It keeps your digestion running smoothly.

“Zinc works with proteins in every organ and helps nearly 100 different enzymes with different processes, one of which is digestion,” says Bontempo.

Zinc acts as a co-factor in a lot of gastrointestinal activities, which means your body can’t digest food and absorb nutrients properly without it.

“It’s easy to mistake symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea for something like a gluten intolerance,” says Bontempo. Instead, you might want to think about adding some zinc-rich foods, like shellfish and yogurt, to your diet.

Zinc helps you taste your food.

Since most of your taste receptors are in your nasal cavity, the two senses are inextricably linked. Zinc is crucial to fully functioning taste perception, so if you start realizing you’re not tasting or smelling things as vividly as you used to, it may be because you have low zinc levels.

This symptom takes gradual hold and can be subtle, so the best way to catch it is by engaging in mindful eating, says Bontempo.

Zinc might help you pay attention.

While it’s not conclusive yet, Botempo says research has shown that your zinc levels may affect how long you’re able to sit and concentrate.

“Researchers saw behavioral changes when people with deficiencies ate zinc-rich food items,” she says. “No specific mechanisms have been identified for low zinc causing impaired attention—but the correlation is there.”

Zinc keeps your metabolism going strong.

“Zinc helps metabolize protein, carbs, and fat,” says Bontempo. “When you don’t have enough, you can experience reduced energy, and sluggishness.” You might also have a harder time losing weight.

Just remember: Don’t load up on supplements if you have any of these symptoms of a zinc deficiency. “Since you need so little zinc, it’s easy to overdose and see negative effects,” says Bontempo. Instead, just eat more zinc-rich foods, like legumes, nuts, and seeds to help see the benefits of zinc

When asked about the secret to his business success, Jack Ma, the founder of Asia’s major e-commerce company, Alibaba, said that women are the “secret sauce” behind his company’s growth and success.

Underscoring the importance of women to the growth and success of his company, Mr. Ma organized a Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship, a two-day event, which held in Hangzhou, China and had in attendance, women leaders from across the world.

According to Ma, women make up about 40% of his company’s workforce and 35% of its high-level managers. This no doubt belies almost all misconceptions about women and competence in the workplace. That is why the raging argument about who make better managers and leaders between men and women, have long become obsolete.

Here are seven reasons why women make better leaders and managers than men:

  1.  Women are Better at Management

While men are comfortable with the cross-the-bridge-when-we-get their kind of approach, women work better with a detailed plan and to-do list. Same way it has also been generally established that women are better managers of resources. Women possess many traits that qualify them as better managers in the eyes of their co-workers and subordinates. They are a lot more considerate of people working under them and they also have the zeal to grow along with others in an organization.

  1. Women know how to succeed against all odds

Women have odds stacked up against them, so, they are already used to sidestepping these odds towards achieving results. Most men simply do not understand what it feels like to be underestimated right from your childhood. On the other hand, every girl and women have faced this at some time. They have the drive to prove the people who put a barrier in their way wrong and succeed in whatever path they are working in.

  1. Women possess patience as a virtue

When it comes to patients, women possess a great dose. Leadership is about being meticulous and unfortunately, that is not the forte of men. Women know that decisions are not to be made in haste and so they take a time to breathe it out, dig deeper before jumping to conclusions when it comes to business decisions. Women are also known to handle stress efficiently than men. Stress can blur your decision making capability at times and then you end up making decisions that may possibly ruin your chances of promotion.  

  1. Women are great Motivators

Leadership is about rallying people to action. This is a natural arena for women. Not all posses this uncommon quality, but, it comes naturally to women. Most women have detective quality hidden in them which often comes out when in need. They know very well what motivates you and what triggers your fears. This way they easily come up with ideas to encourage and motivate you.  A study also reveals that people working under women are more engaged than those under men.

  1. Women are good at collaborating with people

There is a general belief that women are all too often on the competitive side, but this is far from the truth. Women are better at bringing everyone together towards achieving set objectives. Similarly, women are natural at collaborating and working together with others. Women are accustomed to playing many roles at a time because they are the homemakers and they know how to make everyone happy and this works as an advantage in an organization. Men use their alpha-male characteristics to direct others and lead while this might be good in one way they still can’t be able to do teamwork without which a company can’t move forward. Women like to work in a team, share their views and ideas and find a solution to the problem which will be in favor of all the team members.

  1. Women are better communicators:

Like the age-long proverb that says that “While men do the wrestling, women will do the talking,” simply alluding to believe that women are talkative.  While this may appear true on the surface, a closer probe shows that women don’t just talk, they do so for a reason. They have a unique ability to think rationally about everything. Women often tend to deeply analyze and over think things which sometimes work well for them.

They can perfectly and tactfully communicate with people and snag a business deal. Their soft skills help them apply things in the corporate world efficiently. Better communication facilitates the flow of information in an efficient way which is needed in leading a company.  While men prefer action over words, women prefer talking it out over a discussion and then proceeding with the work. They also have great listening capabilities and that’s the reason why they relate better with employee and customer concerns. Communication plays a key role in nurturing and maintaining strong relationship be it in a company or personally.

  1. Women can be generous with Praise  

For better employee engagement, there needs to be a degree of both carrot and stick.  Women are almost always better at giving credit where it’s due. Giving praise can be interpreted by some as a sign of ‘weakness’, and while men prefer to portray themselves as in control and authoritative, women are generally much more relaxed about offering praise.  Research has shown that employees who feel valued and are recognized for their contribution are more productive, so words of encouragement now and then really can have a positive impact on the whole team.

While this list does not lay claim to exhaustiveness, it presents some facts about women in leadership. It shows why more women must step up to the leadership position and quit thinking it’s a space reserved only for men. As they say, “when you don’t get a seat at the table, you bring your seat along.”  Women must, therefore, put themselves forward more often for leadership roles in the workplace.

The case to lose weight and get healthy is rooted in a better life and not just better looks. People all over the world are presented with different fad diets and exercise regimens that are supposed to help them lose weight.

Weight loss sure has lots of benefits that transcends from being healthier generally to being able to fit into that size x dress you bought for a party.

While the benefits of weight loss are thrown to us via books, social media and even well-meaning friends or relatives, people hardly talk about the down side of losing weight.  

Surprised? I was too.

Now let’s see 7 not so fun things that happen to our body when we lose weight.

1. You May Develop Sagging Skin and Stretch Marks

Loose, sagging skin and stretch marks is the product of losing lots of weight too fast. Registered dietitian nutritionist Malina Linkas Malkani, creator of the Wholitarian™ Lifestyle, told INSIDER that this happens because the skin isn’t able to shrink as quickly as the body.

She advises that those who want to lose weight should “focus on slow, steady weight loss, at a rate of about one to two pounds per week to give the skin time to shrink along with the body.

She also recommends implementing resistance exercises to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass. According to Prevention, building muscle could help prevent sagging skin during weight loss as well as eating more produce, using sunscreen, and using collagen-based serums or retinoid.

When weight loss does happen quickly and there is a lot of loose sagging skin, some people opt for surgery to remove it. It’s worth noting that the process will result in visible scars and will take a few weeks for recovery, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

Moreover, it also depends on the exercises that you engage in; so always consult your fitness expert or gym instructor to make a workout plan accordingly.

2. Your Taste Perceptions Could Change

“It’s not an act of growing out of anything, it’s that your interest in food is hormonal,” and ghrelin secreted from the stomach makes you very hungry, and you find different food more appealing.”

This theory is supported by a study that found people who had lost weight via bariatric surgery had a change in taste. According to Time, almost 87% of patients reported this change post-surgery, and half of those people said food didn’t taste as good. Those who had dulled taste buds also lost more weight than their peers who reported their tastes sharpened.

That’s because of hormonal changes that influence how taste receptors relay information to the brain, according to Health.

3. You Might Feel Colder

This common weight loss complaint has to do with your metabolic rate and hormone changes.

“Your body is going to lower your metabolic rate when you lose weight to try to conserve energy,” and in conserving energy, it doesn’t have a lot of extra calories to keep you warm.”

Another reason you might feel colder is because you no longer have fat acting as an insulator. Shape reports that without that extra layer your body becomes more sensitive to temperature changes as you lose weight.

You might consider investing in new blankets as you burn those calories.

4. May Also Affect Your Skin

Sure, your diet may keep your body slim, but it may impact your skin health, too. The foods you eat decide what will show up on your skin. Poor nourishment may lead to break-outs, acne, dull skin, fine lines, et al. The idea is to add foods that are rich in antioxidants that help block skin damage, especially from the sun.

5. May Cause Constipation

If you are following a certain diet, your constipation maybe related to the dietary changes you have made. So, it is always good to add up on more fibre-rich foods, including whole grains, salads, raw fruits and vegetables, et al, to get your bowels moving. Also, it is important to keep yourself hydrated all the time, which helps keep constipation at bay.

6. This May Also Affect Menstrual Cycle

The stress placed on your body during weight loss could also impact your period. According to VeryWell, the more weight you lose and the faster you lose it, the more likely your period will be affected.

Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, explained that this happens because your body thinks it’s starving hormonally.

“Lectin will shut off your menstrual period because your body thinks it is starving and it’s not healthy for women who are starving to have a pregnancy at that time,” she told INSIDER. “So your body doesn’t conserve your period so that you don’t get pregnant and really have a problem.”

It is always good to consult a dietitian to construct a healthy diet plan for you to lose weight in a proper way without having to affect your monthly cycles.

7. You May Have Trouble Sleeping

The relationship between sleep and food is complicated. Not only does what and when you eat affect sleep, but sleep also affects your food choices, NBC’s Better reports.

The basics of sleep come down to a chemical called adenosine, which builds up in your body before a rise in melatonin, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Although we know that sleep is key to successful dieting and weight loss, it might be harder to sleep during weight loss because of dietary changes.

“If you want to sleep well at night you want your tryptophan levels to go up, and the way to do that is to have a little carbohydrate with protein and, that will increase tryptophan levels in the brain and melatonin. When you don’t eat enough or you’re eating less calories, that hormonal balance changes and so you’re not lulled to sleep instead you’re activated, and your body is looking for food.”

To have a healthy sleep at night, make sure you are loading up on carbohydrates along with protein in order to make your tryptophan levels go up.

Side effects aside, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important for your overall health.

 

Emily DiNuzzo

 Most women have a sizeable amount of the dimply stuff in their thighs, arms and buttocks. While some have come to accept the unwanted dimples as a part of their body image, others have resorted to great and even absurd ways to getting rid of cellulites.

Here are 7 things you need to know about cellulites though…

1. Cellulite is Often Genetic
Surprised? I was too.
Some women are more prone to getting cellulite than others because cellulite has its roots in skin structure and genetics. That is not to say that there is no way around cottage cheese thighs. Even if some of us may not be able to completely eliminate all traces of cellulite from our bodies, there are ways to reduce its appearance drastically. So before trying all the above the counter cellulite creams and fad diets, check with your mum and grandma to see if cellulite runs in your genes.

2. Cellulite Can be Caused by Toxins
One of the primary causes of cellulite are toxins from a less than ideal diet, so eating properly is essential. Processed foods are the worst cellulite-promoting offenders and should be avoided. They contain excess sugar, fat, sodium and chemicals that lead to a toxic buildup. Those toxins are then stored in fat cells resulting in more cellulite buildup. In addition, excess sugar is converted to fat and high sodium intake leads to water retention and fluid buildup worsening the appearance of cellulite. Again, before trying all the above the counter cellulite creams and fad diets, try reshuffling your food cabinet.

3. A Healthy Diet is More Important to Eliminating Cellulite than You Think
A healthy diet, rich in antioxidants and other nutrients allows your body to naturally rid itself of waste. It also gives your skin what it needs to boost collagen production, naturally reducing the appearance of cellulite. The ideal diet should be high in fiber and include fresh fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and lean proteins. Focus on brightly colored fruits and vegetables as they are the highest in toxin fighting anti-oxidants. Foods that are natural diuretics like cucumbers and asparagus can also help rid the body of excess fluid buildup. If you are one of those green haters and are fighting cellulite, this information should be a food for serious thought.

4. When You are Dehydrated, Your Cellulite Appears Worse
In addition to diet, it is very important to drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps avoid bloating and fluid retention that can make cellulite appear worse. Coffee and tea can be dehydrating, so it’s important to reduce your consumption. If you do enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, be sure to increase your water intake to compensate. A well-hydrated body will release fluids rather than work hard to hold onto them. Drinking water regularly also strengthens the collagen in the skin, flushes toxins through the kidneys, improves circulation and increases skin elasticity and smoothness. It’s a natural way to fight the formation of cellulite and improve your health and appearance overall. Ladies, grab an extra glass of water.

5. Your Muscles are Key
The most important factor for getting rid of cellulite is regular exercise. Exercises that target the butt and thighs are especially useful for toning the muscles, smoothing the skin, and improving the appearance of cellulite-prone areas. Your regimen should burn fat while sculpting, toning and lifting. Get your running shoes on.

6. There’s No Easy Solution to Cellulite
Getting rid of cellulite requires discipline and determination. There are many gimmicks out there promising a simple solution. Often these involve the use of creams and serums. Cellulite massaging soaps and creams, for example, work by improving circulation to the skin. This temporarily plumps up the cells, giving the appearance of a reduction in cellulite. While some of these products can temporarily improve appearance, they are not a substitute for proper diet and exercise.
7. You Don’t Need to Spend Money at the Gym
You don’t need an expensive gym membership to get a great cellulite busting, butt transforming workout. Free programs like the “Glute Butt Bootie challenge” and the “Blast Cellulite Workout” can be completed at home, daily in 20 minutes or less. Each workout includes demonstrations to show proper form and a detailed daily exercise schedule. The good thing is that there are several other benefits to exercising, so you may as well be killing several birds with a single stone.

Cynthia had gone for her routine workout that morning when she caught sight of Kayode jogging beside her and urging her to keep pace.  As they shook hands when they both stopped to catch their breath, there was an instant connection. As they got talking, Cynthia realized she might just have found the “one” and Kayode too said he “had never felt love like this before. In the next couple of months, they were inseparable.

Picture Source: mcscooby

Kayode was eager to introduce Cynthia to his older sister Kate, who was his only relative in town. A date was fixed and Cynthia could not wait to meet her future sister in-law as they were already discussing marriage. They ‘’couple’’ arrived Kate’s house and as the doorbell rang and Kate opened the door, Kayode watched in astonishment as his older sister flew into Cynthia’s arms screaming “ Aunty Cynthia”.

To wrap up the story, Cynthia had been Kate’s school mother in secondary school and was 3 years older than Kate (her fiancé elder sister).  In fact, as Kate will derogatorily put it, “Cynthia, this is Kayode that used to run around naked when we go to my house during our hostel outing days. Remember how he used to cry, wanting to follow us back to school those days? And how we will buy him ice cream to distract him and sneak out’’?  That began a long road of emotional and physical blackmail from Kayode’s family to Cynthia.

Now, Kayode was a focused young man who knew what he wanted and fought for it. 1 year later,  albeit the opposition from his family, he married Cynthia. She was 7 years older. 10 years down the line, Kayode described his marriage to Cynthia as the best decision he had ever made in life.

With an online statistics showing that the man is older in 64% of heterosexual couples, an age gap in which the woman is significantly older in a relationship is still somewhat unusual in most cultures. Notwithstanding this cultural objection, more and more couples with significant age differences are getting together and building successful families. This article highlights

7 Positives of Marrying an Older Woman.

  1. Sexual Compatibility –It is generally believed that women’s sexual hormones peak in their 30s while men peak at 18. How is this case for marrying an older woman? Well, since women reach their sexual peak much later in life than men, this might make a younger man and an older woman to be perfectly in sync sexually. Moreso, older women know what they want sexually and are not shy of letting their partners know. Ever wondered how the word ‘’cougars’’ came to be?
  2. Wisdom – An older woman has heard all the pickup lines and can more easily tell if a potential partner is genuine or not. An older woman can give you excellent financial and career advice that a younger woman or a woman your age might not have. Experience is still the best teacher.
  3. Maturity-She has had her fair share of life’s issues which tends to give one a certain kind of maturity. She is less likely to pick a fight over trivias and not as likely to have an affair as she should have gotten that out of her system.
  4. Better Parenting- Parenting requires great experience and maturity. Dealing with tantrums, emergency health issues and setting boundaries all require great maturity. A 40-something is more likely to have that maturity than a 20-something. She must have nurtured a lot of nieces and nephews and have garnered all the experience which will make parenting easier for both of you.
  5. Financial Stability- The older woman is more likely to be financially stable and less likely to depend on her partner for her financial needs. They are skewed entrepreneurs and more likely to give more attention to detailSo marrying an older woman will help you have shared responsibilities financially. An experienced career wife can offer her mate confidential career advice that may not be possible from peers.
  6. Social Poise – Older women are more poised in social gatherings and are less likely to cause an embarrassment to their partners at a social function.  They are mostly very polished, dignified, and trustworthy.
  7. Health compatibility– According to the United States National Center for Health Statistics, women live 5 years longer than men and are less likely to die of any of the top ten leading cause of death. This is not lifestyle depended, but caused by biology. So it is safe to say a man whose partner is 5 years older is married to his physiological equal. There are more than 5 widows for every widower alive. So a man who marries a woman five years or some older will realize later in life that they are health peers and will fade away together.

Now you know marrying an older woman is not all bad news as society will have us belief. Age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.

Choose rightly!

Kembet Bolton

In examining the successes of a female icon in S.T.E.M, most people might wish to put her in the spotlight with a lot of questions about how she attained such global fame. Beyond the achievements, there are many other interesting facts about the woman in S.T.E.M. that are quite uncommon from the general point of views.

The answers to why we have few women in STEM and Why we need more women in STEM has been attempted by many that it has suddenly become a major subject gluing the minds of people to deep study and research. While this arouses so much curiosity, it is also important to discover the unconventional things that characterize these women. 

The S.T.E.M field is an interesting field despite the fact that it is being treated with so much rigidity and seriousness that many seem not to think that there are more fascinating things to observe in these fields especially in the lives of women involved in STEM-related jobs.

Beyond this curiosity and questions that surround the woman in S.T.E.M; there are other vital yet silent distinctions about the woman in S.T.E.M.  

Below are 7 things you don’t know about a woman in S.T.E.M.

  1. They don’t like their successes to be overrated: The general belief that men perform better than women in math and science fields has been given as one of the reasons why the achievements of most women in S.T.E.M is sometimes overly blown out of proportion. Women in S.T.E.M believe and understand that women generally have the capacity to think outside the box; hence the generation of scientific ideas should not be seen as a one-off occurrence when women are considered. To term the invention of a woman as a “once in a lifetime achievement” while she is still in her prime can be a non-motivating factor even if it is meant in an attempt to praise her. A larger population of women in S.T.E.M fields would not appreciate being addressed as abnormal just because they have chosen an S.T.E.M-related field of study. This is usually because they would not like their works to be undermined while being compared to the achievement of their male counterpart. Most successful women in S.T.E.M see their achievements as rewards for sticking to their passion, so terming it as a one-off success attained with a lot of stress might make light of the physical and intellectual effort they have put into their inventions.
  2. They have unanswered questions: Even though some women in S.T.E.M may be adorned with confidence, behind this extraordinary confidence displayed by these women in S.T.E.M fields, are unanswered questions that scream out for answers. Women who have ventured into S.T.E.M careers have realized that the S.T.E.M field is not actually a no-go area for women as it is sometimes, generally believed by most people, so this raises the question of why the society view women in this field the way they do.  Most women in S.T.EM want the answer to these questions; where do we stand? What led us here? Where do we go from here? The search for identity presents itself always as a question on the minds of most women in S.T. E.M. Operating in a male-dominated field can be sometimes intimidating hence, the need for the search for identity and belonging. Female students in S.T.E.M related fields have more of this unanswered question to deal with as they keep wondering why men feel intimidated by their choice of study. Sometimes they pause and ponder “am I actually being judged for my career selection?”

Nevertheless, this search for identity helps these women in S.T.E.M identify and discover their uniqueness as well as appreciate their problem-solving skills. 

  1. They wished they had more time for their families: T.E.M fields require a whole lot of time investment both in studies and practice. It is true that every woman in ST.E.M wants to be the boss manager of her home as well as top-notch in her job, but considering the demanding nature of S.T.E.M jobs, women are most times placed in a “state of wishes” when it comes to having enough time for their families. It is not wrong to say that women will always possess “the mother feel” whether she is a woman in S.T.E.M or not; therefore the desire to remain the perfect model to her family will always remain vital to the woman in S.T.E.M. Notwithstanding, most successful women in S.T.E.M have identified a level playing ground in the place of sacrifice for their career and family life, even though they nurse deep desires to spend more time with family.
  2. They do twice as well as men to be recognized: Women in S.T.E.M put in more effort than they ordinarily should, maybe even more than most men would, in order to gain acceptance and recognition in their field. They value and appreciate the time spent in their career and constantly try to show that they are well fitted for S.T.E.M jobs. Considering the fact that women are still under-represented in S.T.E.M fields, they try twice as hard as men to earn recognition.
  3. Mentorship increases their Consistency: Excelling in a patriarchal dominated system can be very tough for some women in S.T.E.M but it will be less stressful if they have mentors who have excelled in S.T.E.M fields. Women in S.T.E.M are consistent in their career because they know they inspire people. A great priority for all S.T.E.M stakeholders, corporations, higher education institutions, and even government is retention and mentors serve as key components in facilitating retention, as well as increasing consistency of upcoming women in S.T.E.M.
  4. They are great networkers: The successes of women in S.T.E.M prove that “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Networking is very important in all works of life but it is even more needful in STEM fields because it needs the evolvement and development of new positions to meet the demanding needs of the market. These women constantly take conscious steps to connect amongst themselves in order to, promote relationships that boost and impact positively on the scientific development of the world. Women in S.T.E.M always seek to establish common grounds amongst each order in order to increase witty inventions. Initiatives such as national girls’ collaborative project, national math and science initiative, women in engineering proactive network and so on have been designed to suit the networking needs of women in S.T.E.M.
  5. T.E.M women are Fun-filled People: Many find it difficult to believe there are other interesting aspects in the lives of women in S.T.E.M asides the lab and her home. Being in Science and technology sphere does not exempt the woman in S.T.E.M from other fun activities. It’s not a surprise to know that outside the four walls of her laboratory is her hockey or golf kit ready to explore some fun.

I bet you did not know the above things could be associated with the seriousness attached to S.T.E.M; nevertheless, these unconventional things improve the diversity of S.T.E.M fields, thereby enhancing scientific innovations in the world. Women in S.T.E.M do not just add to the number in S.T.E.M but they spice up this field in a superb way; paving the way for more women to become trailblazers in a supposedly patriarchal system.

By Eloke-Young Splendor

 

Research has proven that most women who have successfully navigated to the top in a patriarchal dominated system have suffered an endless struggle with confidence no matter how intellectually sound they might be. In S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), women’s confidence has long been under assault from implications and overt insults that women are less likely to succeed, and even suggestions that “innate” differences between men and women make women less suited for S.T.E.M careers. Could this account for the reason why fewer than 2 in 10 women in S.T.E.M who have achieved success, have a report of being extremely confident in their abilities?

For any level of success to be attained in life, the role of confidence as a key ingredient cannot be overemphasized. Since confidence has been discovered as the best weapon every woman in STEM must be armed with, it is of great importance to note the following 7 confidence-boosters for women in S.T.E.M.

  1. The use of Female Mentors and Coaches: A wise saying goes that those who seek the path to success have found it easily by standing on the shoulders of people who have had countless success stories in their lives. The presence of successful female mentors and Coaches in S.T.E.M will help upcoming women in the field pattern their careers with ease. Female mentors ignite the aspiration to pursue S.T.E.M related careers since they protect issues related to women to boost their confidence. Geraldine Richmond, the Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon realizing the importance of women in S.T.E.M, plays a great role in mentoring women in Science. She co-founded the Committee on the Advancement of Women in Chemistry, through this program she helps to facilitate growth through professional development and networking events held each year for women scientists and engineers around the country. Making available mentorship programs and female mentors can go a long way to motivate the upcoming women in S.T.E.M and also give them the opportunity to mentor others. In order to support mentorship, it is necessary that young women are exposed to more female professors teaching STEM-based classes as this would encourage them to not give up and would give them someone to go to for advice and mentorship.

  2. Placing Women in Leadership Positions of S.T.E.M Organizations:  Established women in STEM should not be relegated to the background when leadership roles are being assigned in S.T.E.M organizations.  A current report states that women only hold 24% of S.T.E.M related positions though earning potential is much higher in those roles. Delegating leadership positions and responsibilities to women do not only boost their confidence but gives them the opportunity to embrace their full potentials. Lack of women in leadership positions in S.T.E.M related organizations impedes on the entire confidence of women in S.T.E.M. To balance and improve scientific creativity and innovations in the world, the gender gap in leadership, in science-related fields must be adequately filled by women with outstanding leadership qualities, who are can serve as capable hands in those fields.
  1. Building Systems on how they can manage both the home and their jobs:  It is true that time spent on a particular art, determines the level of confidence developed at it. Every career woman has always sought for possible means by which she can remain top notch in her job and home but each of these demand time.  In order for a woman in S.T.E.M to maximize her ability to be innovative, creative and relevant in the already existing patriarchal system; processes must be put in place to cater for the highly demanding aspect of her life, which is the home. For women in S.T.E.M, mechanisms like long maternity leaves should be considered as one of their rewards. Also, flexible working hours should be made available for women with dependent kids as this will provide the ease in managing their homes as well as grant them the desired satisfaction in their career.   

  1. Creating Job Opportunities for Women in S.T.E.M:  Supporting women who have nursed dreams to belong to S.T.E.M related organizations by creating jobs that accommodate women in S.T.E.M will go a long way to boost the confidence of these women.  Young female graduates will be encouraged to go into science related fields when they are assured of good job opportunities after their study. Government and S.T.E.M related organizations should carve out pathways that lead for more women jobs in S.T.E.M. The inferior complex experienced by women in S.T.E.M could get widened if the gender gap of employment opportunities in S.T.E.M related jobs is not breached. Closing the gender gap in the S.T.E.M field can help connect millions of young women to high-quality jobs thereby giving women an opportunity to create a strong economy in the field of Science and technology.

  1. Celebrating the Success Stories of Women in S.T.E.M:  Nothing boosts confidence more than the reward for an achievement. The women in S.T.E.M must be seen amongst the population that solves today’s real-life problems for a better tomorrow.  Celebrating the successful inventions and innovations of women in S.T.E.M can help them keep their shoulders high as well as eliminate the feeling of inferiority complex which may come with belonging to a male-dominated organization, thereby, giving them the assurance that they are seen, heard and recognized by the world’s majority. Highlighting the successful inventions of women in STEM is a great way to place these women in the spotlight, which will, in turn, reproduce superb confidence in them as well as inspire the upcoming generation of women in STEM.  Celebrating the success stories of women in S.T.E.M will afford these women the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and offer their advice to other women who look up to them as role models and mentors. Both government and private S.T.E.M organizations must take up the responsibility of celebrating these women who have given themselves to support the scientific development of the nation.
  2. Promote Unionism for women in S.T.E.M:  Organizations and Unions should be set up for these women in S.T.E.M. These organizations will be able to cater for the financial needs of the women in S.T.E.M and also serve as a meeting point for all the women in S.T.E.M.
  3. The Creation of Private Sponsorship Programs: Sponsorship programs funded by S.T.E.M organizations should be organized to hold scholarships for female students studying S.T.E.M related courses in tertiary institutions. The awarding of these scholarships will encourage, enhance the chance of the female population to venture into S.T.E.M related practices and fields. It will also establish a cordial relationship amongst the various S.T.E.M companies and S.T.E.M academic institutions.

If we are going to have more women in S.T.E.M, then the female population represented in S.T.E.M organizations have to be showcased and placed at the center stage as icons to be reckoned with, and this may only be made possible if the above confidence boosters for women in S.T.E.M is applied or put in place.  The present women in S.T.E.M have become pacesetters and pathfinders for the upcoming generation of women who have conceived within, the desire to change tides in Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

By Splendor Eloke- Young