Women in STEM Related Fields
“The STEM related fields of study and career is fulfilled with majority men and less women. You will most likely be aware that women are overlooked in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) occupations.There is a variety of reasons why the gender gap in Stem still exists. One is a huge issue – More males than females tend to choose to study Stem subjects at secondary school and university.This means that the numbers of girls in Stem subjects are creeping up very slowly, but the gap still remains surprisingly resistant.
One reason why the gap still remains is due to Biological explanations. These explanations tend to rely on the fact that boys are better at spatial tasks while girls are better at verbal recall tasks. However, these differences are very small and their link to Stem ability is very weak. This is due to social belongness. Teenagers feel as if they would fit in better in subjects that had more of their own gender. This decreases the chances of society exploring other programs that they are interested in.
Another reason why the gender gap still remains is because of self-efficacy. This is the belief that one can succeed in a domain. People tend to approach domains where they feel that they are competent and avoid those in which we do not.This suggests that this may reflect the low social value and rewards associated with careers in these spheres. Even in one of the most gender-neutral countries in the world and despite the evidence of their own marks, girls still seem to fail to resist temptation to the stereotype that girls aren’t as capable in these subjects.
Even young children can absorb and be influenced by gender stereotypes, and these can be causing harm for boys as they are for girls but in different ways. From this age, girls are also more likely to be attracted to a game if it is described as being for children who “work really hard” than if it is described as being for children who are “really smart”. Again, this is despite the fact that girls, on average, are outperforming boys in these subjects at school. This suggests gendered notions of intelligence are picked up very early and start having an effect on the sorts of interests that girls pursue.
In conclusion, in order to attract more girls to study Stem subjects at university and enter Stem careers, we need to tackle the stereotypes they are exposed to and we need to do this early. One way is to encourage girls is to use appropriate role models. Schools should start campaigns to coincide with International Women’s Day. They should also send young female graduate Stem students into schools to talk to and inspire young teenage girls to consider pursuing Stem topics at A-level. This will increase chances of females being interested in “manly” STEM fields.”
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