“Why So Few?” Rapport on Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

In an era when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business, why are there so few women scientists and engineers? A new research report by AAUW (American Association of University Women) presents compelling evidence that can help to explain this puzzle. Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics presents in-depth yet accessible profiles of eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers – including stereotypes, gender bias and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities – that continue to block women’s participation and progress in science, technology, engineering, and math. The report also includes up to date statistics on girls’ and women’s achievement and participation in these areas and offers new ideas for what each of us can do to more fully open scientific and engineering fields to girls and women.

“We scanned the literature for research with immediate applicability,” said Catherine Hill, the university women’s research director and lead author of the report. “We found a lot of small things can make a difference, like a course in spatial skills for women going into engineering, or teaching children that math ability is not fixed, but grows with effort.”

The association’s report acknowledges differences in male and female brains. But Ms. Hill said,

“None of the research convincingly links those differences to specific skills, so we don’t know what they mean in terms of mathematical abilities.”

The report found ample evidence of continuing cultural bias. One study of postdoctoral applicants, for example, found that women had to publish 3 more papers in prestigious journals, or 20 more in less-known publications, to be judged as productive as male applicants.

Sources: nytimes.com

DOWNLOAD the full report here.

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7 Responses to “Why So Few?” Rapport on Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

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  5. @murmur55 says:

    I worked in a state and federally funded workplace in academic medicine that allowed extreme amounts of violence against women and the vulnerable, such as patients and male subordinates. There was physical, psychological, financial and sexual violence. The men were rewarded for their failures; the women were battered for complaining about problems. Many women ended up psychiatrically or physically ill. Many were terminated, even after long careers in the sciences. Some of us lost family members.

    The USA suffers from a culture of incompetence and violence that interferes with women flourishing.

  6. WWomenGlobally says:

    So sad to hear about it – noone even realizes the true behind the walls of federally founded institutions. Many thanks for sharing!

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