When you think of STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics), what sort of people come to mind? Most likely a man behind a computer writing code or a man designing some sort of technology. If so, that right there is the issue. Employees in STEM, wouldn’t you agree that including more women in the STEM field would not only fulfill diversity requirements but also aid in the advancement of technological innovation? For centuries the fields of innovation and technology have been primarily male-dominated, and if women had contributed in some way to that technology they oftentimes were not properly credited for their work. However, in recent times there has been a huge push for the STEM field to be more inclusive, particularly to women.
The implicit and even subconscious bias that comes with the tech field is a major contributing factor to why women were previously not involved in the tech space. Most people associate science and math fields with “male” and humanities and arts fields with “female,” according to research examined in this report. Implicit bias is common, even among individuals who actively reject these stereotypes. This bias affects individuals’ attitudes toward others and may also influence girls’ and women’s likelihood of cultivating their own interests in math and science.
The Role of Education
Only 28% of STEM jobs are held by women, and men outweigh women in most STEM undergraduate majors. Interestingly, though scientists and engineers are created in schools and universities, the groundwork for a STEM career is set early in life. According to the research detailed in this study, simple adjustments made by physics and computer science departments, such as giving a more comprehensive introduction of the area in beginning courses, can result in significant increases in the enrollment and retention of female students. Likewise, if departments’ cultures are improved to support the integration of female faculty, colleges and universities can attract more female professors in the sciences and engineering.
Defeating Implicit Bias
Girls’ performance, how they evaluate it, and their aspirations can all be impacted by the notion that men perform better than women in STEM fields. By introducing boys and girls to female role models in STEM disciplines, highlighting the larger percentage of girls and women who are excelling in STEM fields than ever before, and emphasizing the lack of gender differences in performance in nearly all STEM professions, you may help dispel the myth. It gets harder for people to believe that boys and men are superior in these fields the more they hear information of this nature.
Both implicit and overt bias against women still occurs in science and engineering. Even those who consciously reject gender stereotypes frequently harbor unconscious prejudices regarding women in the sciences and engineering. Women may experience overt prejudice in traditionally “masculine” professions like engineering.