Gender gap in STEM fields proving difficult to close, say experts, census data | CTV News
The labour market outcomes of women with STEM degrees, who are more concentrated in science and technology, did not clearly differ from non- STEM women. A Statistics Canada Census sits on the key board of a laptop after men and women alike, chose the STEM path, the female ranks are. Women remain underrepresented in the STEM workforce. .. Descriptive statistics for male and female college graduates. .. To date, attempts to increase women's presence in the STEM labor force have focused on the K
Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) | Catalyst
When asked to draw or describe STEM professionals, adolescents most often depict STEM professionals as male — as well as white, middle-aged or elderly, unattractive, dressed in a lab coat and glasses, geeky or nerdy, socially awkward, and individuals who work alone Mead and Metraux, ; Fort and Varney, ; Maoldomhnaigh and Mhaolain, ; Huber and Burton, ; She, ; Barman,; Parsons, ; Song and Kim, ; Knight and Cunningham, ; Mercier et al. However, when adolescent girls view STEM fields as masculine, their perceptions can negatively affect their identification, interest, and participation in STEM Lips, ; Packard and Wong, ; Steinke,; Cheryan et al.
Studies focused on broadening participation in STEM have considered a variety of approaches and strategies and have identified many factors found to play a role in the underrepresentation of women in STEM see, for example, Clewell and Campbell, ; Rosser, Determining the most effective strategies and best practices for recruiting and retaining women in low participation STEM fields like engineering and computer science remains a complex challenge American Association of University Women, To address the complex challenge of broadening the participation of girls and women in STEM, research and programmatic interventions have focused on an array of factors related to science identity orSTEM identity.
However, these frameworks have yet to fully explicate the potential influence of constructs and variables related to the broader sociocultural context such as contextual cues conveyed by popular media images of STEM professionals.
This review examines historical trends in the presentation of media images of STEM professionals focusing on the number of female STEM professionals compared to the number of male STEM professionals and the gender stereotyped portrayals of female STEM professionals on television and in film.
None of science popularizers or hosts on early television programs were women LaFollette, Although female STEM professionals have appeared more frequently in more recent television programming, the underrepresentation of female STEM professionals has persisted for years on prime-time programs broadcast between and except for Dudo et al. Several more recent television programs have shown a greater number of women STEM professionals in primetime drama programs such as CSI: New York and CSI: A study of media portrayals of scientists appearing on the popular primetime television program, The Big Bang Theory, noted greater diversity of scientists portrayed on this program in regard to gender, ethnicity and STEM specialty, but noted that the women scientists on this program often find their work devalued or co-opted by male scientists Weitekamp, In addition to the relatively low numbers of female STEM professionals appearing on television, televised portrayals of female STEM professionals have often been limited and stereotyped.
A study focused specifically on television programs likely to be watched by adolescent viewers and broadcast in found depictions of male and female scientists were similar related to marital status, parental status, high status professional position; however, female scientist characters were outnumbered by male scientist characters by 2 to 1, appeared in fewer scenes, and were less likely to be shown as independent and dominant Long et al.
Another study described the infantilization and sexualization in the portrayal of Abby Sciuto, a woman scientist in the crime fiction television program NCIS Bergman, A study of the primetime drama, CSI, noted that two of the female forensic scientists on the program, Catherine and Sara, were portrayed as making sacrifices in their personal lives for their careers, and Catherine often was portrayed in sexualized ways and depicted as an incompetent, single working mother Warren et al.
Amy Farrah Fowler and Dr. Portrayals of women as scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians on the Big Screen have been diverse; however, many portrayals have focused on the appearance, femininity, and traditional gender stereotypes of female STEM professionals. Research found gender-stereotyped depictions in the film biography, Madame Curie Elena,60 feature films from to Flicker,and 23 popular films from to that featured female scientists and engineers as primary characters Steinke, Some progress in reducing gender-stereotyped portrayals of female STEM professionals was noted in a recent study of 62 female STEM characters in 42 popular films from to Steinke and Tavarez, This study found more female STEM professionals were portrayed as equal contributing members of research teams and were depicted as competent although many portrayals still focused on the physical attractiveness of female STEM characters and some portrayals featured hypersexualization of these characters Steinke and Tavarez, Media Framing of Gender and STEM Media images of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians on television and in films are cultural constructions that convey assumptions about gender and STEM Steinke, Television serves as a significant force of cultural production Dhingra,p.
Films have a similar effect: These embedded meanings have the potential to influence viewers in many ways: Research on media frames Gitlin, ; Gamson and Modigliani, ; Gamson et al.
These choices were broken down into three categories: Equity is good for everyone The bottom line is policies that increase equity are often good for everyone.
What does the STEM gender breakdown really look like?
Most people in the workforce have caregiving responsibilities of one kind or another, be they for young children, elderly parents, or ill family members. Attrition rates from STEM. American Institutes for Research The problem is magnified for researchers from traditionally underrepresented groups. The National Science Foundation in the US has recently released a report outlining plans to broaden participation in the STEM workforce, and particular support for early-career researchers is needed.
We need to take steps to ensure equity in how researchers are mentored, to increase their professional networks and to prepare candidates for promotion.WTH is a STEM??
One low-cost option would be to have a one-year promotion preparation program. Many research institutes already have similar support programs on an ad hoc basis, but institutionalising and tracking early-career researchers could be much more beneficial.
If anything, this new paper reinforces the need for studying women in STEM at different career stages differentlyand determining what factors cause women scientists to leave before reaching the pinnacle of their career. Some excellent resources are available for models of best practice.
What does the STEM gender breakdown really look like? | World Economic Forum
Of course, the United States where the survey was conducted is the only country that offers no paid parental leave among the 37 countries in the OECD.
A comparison of maternity leave policies worldwide. This article is published in collaboration with The Conversation.