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Heart of Central Texas: Highlighting women in STEM

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are career fields historically dominated by men. But TSTC wants to spend time focusing on women's contributions.

TEMPLE, Texas — During Women's History Month, Texas State Technical College has highlighted women involved in STEM.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics- fields historically dominated by men.

Jazmin Hernandez is currently going through TSTC's computer programming technology program.  She said she'd always been interested in computers.

After she completes the program she wants to work for Apple. She said she's doing it for herself but also for her daughters.

"Every semester that I've passed, my 7-year-old daughter says 'I'm proud of you.' And I told her don't give up. If you want something, get it," Hernandez said.  "And with my actions, I'm not just telling her, I'm showing her. 

"So overall, it's motivation everywhere," she adds.

Phyllis Hollingshead, a TSTC programming instructor, knows a thing or two about motivation. For her, it also started in school when she looked around her class and she was the only girl.

"I had a male instructor who told me that I was a woman in a man's industry, that I would have a very difficult time finding a job, and he just wanted me to be aware of that," Hollingshead recalled. "And I just kind of put that notion in me that I have to prove them wrong and get that job and show men that women do this."

Hernandez said she was intimated by the program at first, but eventually she has came into her own. 

For others considering a career in computer programming, Hernandez advises, "Honestly, the best advice I have is just to go for it because you won’t really know until you step foot into it and see what you’re getting into."

While women are making strides in STEM they are still underrepresented. According to the Census Bureau, women hold 27% of all STEM jobs available.

Click here to find out more information on TSTC's computer programing technology program. 


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