Why are there so fewwomen in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)programs? Is it because women justaren’t built to be scientist and engineers, or is it because since its alreadysuch a male dominated field women don’t feel like they have a place studying togo into these fields. This essay will discuss why women are needed in thesecareers, why there are so few women in STEM, and how to get more women andgirls involved in STEM programs and Career path. Women need other women in places of high position. Womenneed other women to be in position where they are discriminated against tofurther open the door for the participation of those other women. The reality,however, is that most women feel the price they’d have to pay to be taken seriouslyin a highly discriminatory field-both sexual and otherwise- is too high to pay.
That being said, when women are involved in science and engineering, theoutcome helps all women. According to the article, Why Women Need More Women in STEM, “up until recently, women withheart disease were misdiagnosed with symptoms they showed and were sent homewith the wrong medication only to have a fatal ending. They would also sufferfrom high side effects from other medications as well. For generations, themodel used in biomedical research to design drugs and products has been anaverage size male. They failed to register thatadding sex as a variable for tests could be a possibility, since women arephysiologically quite different and need to be administered different drugs anddosages.
Until women themselves got involved in scientific and medicalresearch, the FDA and NIH had no reason to change the policies on medication.”The health of women is just one of the various important reasons for women tobe more adamant about being more involved in STEM. The article goes on to statethat, “Women participation in any scientific and technological process wouldincrease the usage of the products and solutions being created and success oftheir application. Use of gender discipline in creating science and technologyis an important aspect of unbiased successful research or product development.Employing different perspectives and abilities can enrich the creativity andinsight of products and increase the chances of pure innovation.” While the number of women has been increasing steadily inmedicine, law, and business, there is still a gap in the number or women inScience and Engineering.
According to a 2010 research report by AAUW (AmericanAssociation of University women) presented in-depth yet accessible profiles ofeight key research findings that point to environmental and socialbarriers-“Including stereotypes, gender bias, and the climate of science andEngineering departments in college and universities- that continue to blockwomen’s progress in STEM.” Stereotypes can lower girls’ aspirations for scienceand engineering careers. These stereotypes placed against girls and women, butespecially young girls cans have really damaging effects on how they perform ontest.” In the article, Why So Few? Womenin Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, the writer states, “Afemale student taking a math test experiences an extra cognitive and emotionalburden of worry related to the stereotype that women are not good at math. Areference to this stereotype, even one as subtle as taking the test in a roomof mostly men, can adversely affect her test performance. When the burden isremoved, however, her performance will improve.
Stereotype threat is one compellingexplanation for why women remain underrepresented in STEM fields.” Though thereare some who claim to not believe in this stereotype, they often do at anunconscious level. The writer states that these unconscious beliefs of implicitbiases, may be more harmful than out right and explicitly held beliefs becausethe because the person simply isn’t aware of them. Project implicit, an onlinesite, offers an Implicit Association Test (IAT), which measures the associationbetween two ideas or concept to determine attitudes about different socialgroups. According to the article, “The gender-science IAT measures theassociation between math-arts and male-female.
Between 1998 and the releaseof Why So Few in 2010, more than a half million people from aroundthe world took the gender-science IAT, and more than 70 percent of test takersmore readily associated “male” with science and “female” with arts than thereverse. These findings indicate a strong implicit association of male withscience and female with arts and a high level of gender stereotyping at theunconscious level among both women and men of all races and ethnicities. Thefindings also challenge the notion that bias against women in math and scienceis a thing of the past. Women in STEM fields still face significant implicitbias on the basis of their gender.” If women today truly want to be seen as equal to theirmale counter-parts, then bridging the gap between men and women in STEM must bedealt with. The problem is that women and girls don’t feel welcomed in STEMclassrooms and lectures. This seem to be even more true young girls of color.Also, girls don’t have the same access, and they usually won’t until they reachcollege.
In a study by, the AmericanAssociation of University Women, it states that “among first-year collegestudents, women are much less likely than men to say that they intend to majorin science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). By graduation, menoutnumber women in nearly every science and engineering field, and in some,such as physics, engineering, and computer science, the difference is dramatic,with women earning only 20% of bachelor’s degrees. Women’s representation inscience and engineering declines further at the graduate level and in thetransition to the workplace.” To close the gap girls have to be introduced toSTEM as early as possible. Elementary and Secondary schools have to have theseyoung participate in STEM before it becomes something fully male oriented. Girlsin class rooms should be taught to use and visualize data and see how theseskills can be utilized in everyday life.
These bright young women must be shownhow these skills can become interesting and lucrative career choice, not justfor their male peers. In conclusion, when children are young they have endless possibilitiesas to what they can achieve. Young women and girls must have role models and becausethere are very few women in STEM programs and careers, they don’t have much tolook up.
This narrative must change. Ideas from women shouldn’t be less valuedand underappreciated just because they came from female brains. Great ideas aregreat ideas no matter where they come from, and women themselves should also realizethis.
No matter gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality