Ǫuest Alliance, a not-for-proﬁt trust that equips youth in India with 21st Century skills by enabling self-learning, brought together key players in the CSR and social impact sector for a dialogue on the essential skills and mindsets that young people in India will need to navigate a VUCA world. Hosted in collaboration with social impact consulting ﬁrm Sattva Consulting, the 4th edition of the Ǫuest Funder Co-Lab was held under the aegis of the Annual Ǫuest 2 Learn Summit, and brought together representatives from industry leaders like IBM, J.P. Morgan, H.T. Parekh Foundation, Cap Gemini and Dasra.
The session was designed to examine trends, gaps, and opportunities in STEM education, featuring a panel discussion on aligning STEM education with the National Education Policy (NEP). The pressing need for concerted CSR investment in creating gender equity in STEM education and careers emerged as a key point of discussion, with a particular focus on shifting the paradigm away from STEM education and towards a STEM mindset.
Gender stereotypes and cultural bias about girls’ abilities to pursue STEM subjects and career pathways continue to be disproportionately skewed. The ability for critical thinking, questioning traditional belief, assimilating factual knowledge and problem solving – all characteristics of a STEM mindset – are not necessarily encouraged in the current education system. If left unchecked, this could manifest in entire generations of young women unable to access fulfilling careers and lives in a future that is unarguably rooted in STEM ﬁelds.