It is true that fewer women than men break into science and engineering careers today because they do not choose such careers. What isn’t true is that those choices are truly “free.”
I KNEW it! Although, I’m still not comfortable with the notion that this is necessarily sexism. It might be, but I really think we should look at this more. Still,
subtle and unconscious factors skew the “free choices” we make.
Some interesting results reported in the article:
when Stout and Dasgupta evaluated how much the students identified with mathematics, they found that women ended up with less confidence in their mathematical abilities when their teachers were men rather than women. This happened even when women outperformed men on actual tests of math performance.
Even though girls are increasingly outperforming their male counterparts in math and science in school, they STILL don’t choose careers in STEM fields. Why? This article points at the fact that there aren’t enough women faculty in these fields at university.
HAH! I KNEW I was making a difference. I’d love to know the numbers on how many women in STEM fields get driven out by incompetent department heads and their sycophant sidekicks, like I did. In may case, the better I got at working with my students, the more I was attacked.
From the article:
They measured, for instance, how often each student responded to questions posed by professors to the classroom as a whole. At the start of the semester, 11 percent of the female students attempted to answer questions posed to the entire class when the professor was male, and 7 percent of the female students attempted to answer questions posed to the entire class when the professor was female. By the end of the semester, the number of female students who attempted to answer questions posed by a male professor had not changed significantly: Only 7 percent of the women tried to answer such questions. But when classes were taught by a woman, the percentage of female students who attempted to answer questions by the semester’s end rose to 46.
The researchers also measured how often students approached professors for help after class. Around 12 percent of the female students approached both male and female professors for help at the start of the semester. The number of female students approaching female professors was 14 percent at the end of the semester. But the number of female students asking for help from a male professor dropped to zero.