System Admin | Tech Support | Keeping technology running
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I'm a female who has been in STEM since kindergarten. I say that because I was never interested in the soft sciences or the arts in any way, I was pulling things apart as long as I can remember to see if I could figure out how they were made or how they worked. As a female I was lucky enough to have parents who (at least somewhat) encouraged that, instead of dolls and make up my birthday and Christmas presents were science kits, computers and microscopes. There were limits to their encouragement, usually when I started pulling apart things I wasn't supposed to.
I was also lucky enough to get the best group of science teachers through high school, Math, Biology, Chemistry and Physics all believed that anyone who wanted to learn science should be encouraged, and didn't make anything at all of the fact I was female. I majored in Chemistry, got a job as a tech in an R&D lab for a few years, then discovered computers which I seemed to have a talent for which led to a career change. I love my job now as tech support/training since I get the people aspect and the STEM aspect in one career.
My advice, play to your strengths and figure out what you love about each subject, then find a career that fits with that. If you love the subject it tends to be easier to study it, which makes it easier to work in the field afterwards. The worst advice I ever got was from my career counsellor at high school who told me I'd be cutting off options if I went for all sciences, and encouraged me to take an arts subject to "round out my portfolio". I hated the subject, barely passed it, and it did affect my career options afterwards but from my point of view it was a negative effect not positive. I've stayed in STEM, and while I've turned a little more people oriented over the last few years, my passion is still getting people to see the beauty in the subjects that make up STEM - they are so versatile and so informative, plus they impact every aspects of your life whether you know it or not.