Gender inequality in STEM: Where is Jill Nye?
Research Paper by Maddie Wang and Grace Anderson
A hushed classroom of elementary schoolers wait for the teacher to hit play. Suddenly, the loud, energetic theme song blasts as a man in a lab coat dances on screen—Bill Nye the Science Guy! One of the most universal memories from any elementary school is the goofy scientist showing experiments and cracking some dad jokes. Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of the most iconic children’s programs in existence, getting kids interested and excited to learn about science. The character of Bill Nye emblematic of a larger problem. He exemplifies the stereotypical scientist, an older man in a lab coat. He is one of many male role models in the scientific community, but where are the women that will inspire young kids to be scientists? Where, for lack of a better phrase, is Jill Nye? Lack of female representation in science and other related jobs, such as engineering, technology, and math, is a problem that has affected women for decades. These careers, known by the acronym STEM, have historically struggled with gender inequality. The number of women in STEM fields has grown, but lags behind other professions. This is due to traditional gender roles and stereotypes, as well as discrimination and profiling in the office. The effects of these factors have lead to continued discrimination, and added to the wage gap. Women are becoming more educated and determined, yet cannot seem to overcome the obstacles in STEM careers.
In the mid 1960’s, famous psychologist Bruno Bettelheim declared that: “As much as women may want to be good scientists or engineers, we must remember that they want first and foremost to be womanly companions of men and to be mothers.” This assertion, however astonishing as it seems today, was the reality of how America viewed its professional women a mere half century ago. Back then, the STEM woman was a rarity in society. In 1960, only 381 doctorates were earned by women in STEM subjects, making up just 6 percent of the total degrees earned at the doctorate level (Barber). Fortunately, over the next decades, the number of women in STEM rose significantly. “In 1960 women received 19,362 bachelor’s degrees and 381 doctorates in these disciplines; by 1990 the numbers had risen to 123,793 bachelor’s degrees and 6,274 doctorates” (Barber). This is an obvious improvement for women in STEM fields, but it should be noted that this increase was happening as there was a more general increase in the amount of degrees earned by women in all subjects. From 1960 to 1990, the number of women who received high school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees swelled. This means that though the number of women going into STEM had increased, the proportion of women who chose to study for a STEM degree was about the same. Similarly, the percentage of women that earned a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field that then chose to continue their education to get a doctorate stayed the same over this time period, fluctuating between 4.5 and 6.9 percent (Barber). Though it seems that more women were interested in STEM, making the transition to higher levels of education or starting a career was not a reality for them.
From the ‘90s to today, women’s share of the STEM workforce has remained stagnant at roughly 24 percent, even though women now make up nearly 50 percent of the workforce. Though there are many causes for this disparity, it is first important to note that not all STEM careers are equally at fault. In fact, women tend to clump in certain subject areas. In college, 57 percent of STEM women tend to major in life or physical science. About 10 percent major in math, which is actually higher than the males 6 percent, and the number of men and women entering computer sciences is equal. However, twice as many men major in engineering (Beede et al.). Engineering is the STEM field that is most guilty of a gender gap. Not only do more men major in engineering in college, but more women are reported to leave engineering in the working world (Glass et al.). In every field, the actual number of men majoring is higher because there are more men studying degrees in STEM (Beede et al.). After college, the discrimination of women in STEM enters the workplace. The pay gap in STEM careers is currently such that women make about 84 cents to the man’s dollar. Though the pay gap is less than the national average of 80 cents to the dollar, this is still cause for concern. The issue with women in STEM can currently be traced from the amount of women who stop studying their STEM career in college, to the unfair wage gap in the working world.
The cause of these issues seem to be a combination of STEM exposure disparities and reinforced stereotypes in childhood that discourages women from joining the field. Unfortunately, parents do not nurture daughters as much as sons in developing interest in STEM. This is evident in the disparity of the parent’s math or science talk between sons and daughters as shown in a California naturalistic observation. As in this observation, researchers noted that 29 percent of parent’s interactions with sons involved a scientific explanation versus 9 percent of parent’s interactions with daughters. When children are less exposed to subjects, they will not be able express as much interest about these subjects much less form their own opinions on them. With less mathematical or scientific exposure at this very young age, sometimes, “girls and boys may not begin school with an ‘even playing field’” (Saucerman, Jennifer, and Vasquez). And ultimately, having less knowledge in these fields can impede or disinterest many girls at a young age in these advanced fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
On top of the lack of science oriented guidance female guidance, the fact that parent, teacher, and peer beliefs often reflect societal stereotypes prove another psychological barrier for girls in childhood. Although eight to nine year old girls and boys have roughly the same ability level and academic grade in their mathematics class, their teachers, on average, believe girls have a lower ability in math than boys (Dickhauser and Meyer). This perception may actually harm a girl’s self-efficacy, the belief in one own’s ability is good enough, as the feedback and evaluation given to them by the teacher would be lower than an equal male counterpart. And because “judgment of one’s own ability has been found to be correlated with achievement,” having less self-efficacy itself then becomes a barrier to joining the mathematics field she believes she is not good enough in (Saucerman et al.). Parents, too, hold these same traditional views. A study found the same results that parents also believe that girls are worse at math than boys, despite the fact that the boys and girls had similar grades. Consequently, because a female child’s gender, she is “influenced by factors that had nothing to do with her ability, shaping her views about possibilities” (Saucerman et al.). These parental views are not deliberately transmitted, but they nonetheless affect their daughter’s self-efficacy in STEM fields. Lastly, peer beliefs hold significant weight in elementary, middle, and especially in high school. A girl whose friends hold STEM encouraging or gender equality beliefs is more motivated to pursue STEM careers than a girl whose friends reinforce the gender traditional roles stereotype (Saucerman et al.). Since today, many girls are still brought up endorsing traditional gender roles, other girls are psychologically discouraged by such peers in entering STEM careers and stunting the progression of such trend.
Even if a young girl overcomes the unconscious psychological barriers and grows up to start a career in science, technology, engineering, or math, there is still an unusually high chance that her career will come to an end. This is because the idea of gender roles is just as prevalent in the workplace as it is in a school. The idea that women should support their families plays a huge part in career choice and retention. According to Kim Parker, director of social trends at PEW research center, women change their careers to accommodate for their families at a much higher rate than men. Not only was it found that women devote more time on average to childcare and housework than men, but when asked by a survey from PEW, 74 percent of those surveyed said that a mother who works part time or not at all is ideal for a family (Parker). Though it makes sense that having a parent that can stay at home is the best situation for a child, there is no reason why that parent has to be the mother. However, when asked the same question about men, about 70 percent of respondents said that it would be best for a father to work full time (Parker). Perhaps this gap could be lessened if STEM employers worked to accommodate for mothers, but many STEM careers do not offer good options for women who have children, such as paid maternity leave or the choice to reduce working hours. When an employer offers these benefits, many women find that there is a downside to taking them. “Women who request such accommodations often report that they are then seen as less committed, receive less rewarding work, and face continued pressure to increase work hours” (Glass et. al.). Because of the judgment women feel upon taking advantage of benefits offered to them as mothers, many become discouraged and leave their field in order to focus on their family. Though traditional views on family and gender cause many women to leave the workforce, there are many other reasons a STEM woman may be driven to leave her field.
Far more women in STEM leave their field for another career than leave their field in order to exit the workforce altogether. Jennifer Glass and her colleagues found that about half of the women in their study that originally had a STEM career left their field and became employed elsewhere. In other professional careers (such as law and business) this number was about 20 percent. This exodus of women from their STEM careers could be caused by feelings of gender profiling in the workplace. Many women experience being given less responsibility in their workplaces than their male co-workers, despite having the same amount of experience. (Glass et. al.) Feelings of being the “token girl” of their workplace leave many discouraged with their jobs, which drives them to leave for other careers. Problems with gender discrimination in regards to STEM careers are most apparent in the workplace, but the causes start as early as childhood. This issue is deeply rooted in our culture and it is hard to know how to begin closing the gender gap.
Another reason women leave STEM careers at a rate almost double of men is because of the sexist alpha male culture in the workplace. “I’ve been harassed, I’ve had people make suggestive comments to me, I’ve had people basically dismiss my expertise. I’ve gotten rape and death threats just for speaking out about this stuff,” says Ashe Dryden, who was a programmer for over 15 years. Dryden adds she wanted to leave the STEM field many times, though it was not her who was creating the problem (Miller). The sexism in the predominately male industry is also seen at Github, a programming collaboration platform for developers. A study found that code written by women was more likely to be accepted than code written by men. However, women with their gender public or exposed had an acceptance rate visibly less than men’s (Wong). This ultimately illustrates the bias against female coders despite having a better ability than male coders. The sexism seen here is subtle, but sometimes it is clearly apparent. In the case of Github, the company with over 14 million users and 600 employees, their previous CEO Tom Preston-Werner resigned due to sexism charges against a female programmer Julie Ann Horvath (Wong). Retrospectively, women in STEM experience the brunt of harassment and sexism despite having above equal ability, creating a large barrier between women and STEM.
The number of barriers to a girl joining stem careers is astounding, but today, many individuals and organizations are working tirelessly to help bring girls into STEM fields and surpass their obstacles. One way is through introducing a STEM role model. An Arizona State University study found that a lack of STEM female role models contributes to more female dropouts in STEM. But with a role model—whether a peer, advisor, or instructor— women feel less threatened by the technology stereotype and are more likely to succeed and be motivated in their STEM course (Herrmann et al.). Others have taken this information suggested an applicable solution. For example, Regina Agyare, Founder of Soronko Solutions, advocated to “introduce girls early to role models of other women In STEM” in an interview with CNN. Not only “would [role models] get them exposed to STEM ‘through games and practical learning experiences,’” as Agyare mentions, but it would simultaneously eliminate part of the stereotype threat and increase motivation for these girls. With a role model or mentor, emerging girls in STEM fields would feel more connected or welcomed to the field.
There are many other ways to encourage more female youth into STEM other than increasing role models, even including modifying the makeup of the high school demographic. Interestingly enough, high school teachers’ genders play an important part in encouraging and retaining more female youth into STEM careers. A recent North Carolina study suggests that the proportion of female STEM teachers actually has a powerful effect on increasing female students’ probability of graduating with a STEM degree in college by 34 percent. That to defeat a barrier to entry, we this is one way we can start: evening the proportion of male and female STEM teachers (Bottia et al.). Sometimes, the support from others can help other women surpass the stereotypes, the threats, the unwelcoming environment of their career or identity.
But most of the solutions individuals and groups have proposed coincide with early exposure of young girls in technology or engineering through programs or workshops. Exposure programs are needed because, as First Code Academy founder and CEO Michelle Sun puts it, “[to] provide them a chance to experience the STEM field first hand.” This is why “Invent it. Built it.” for example is an early exposure engineering program for sixth to eighth graders and many other STEM-inclusive programs like Nickelodeon, Girl Scouts of the USA, Afro-Tech Girls, Girls Who Code, and Made With Code have been founded. They all with the same mission: to expose girls in STEM (Parke). With these workshops, these girls can correct the societal reinforced stereotype threats and perceptions that are developed at a young age. Perhaps later on, they will have the chance to embrace STEM courses in high school and college. By bringing more girls into technology conventions, workshops, or program, the playing field is also more leveled, as exposure is championed as primary factor for starting a career and succeeding in STEM later on. In addition, those who have programmed early on are less likely to leave and attempt to enter the field (Purcell). Therefore, faster growth for women choosing STEM careers can be achieved through these STEM programs for young girls.
STEM programs as well as reducing gender bias toy marketing can be powerful in creating interest in STEM for young girls. In toy marketing, a study found that toys targeted towards girls are primarily “dolls and animals” while the toys targeted to boys are primarily “transportation toys, action figures, sports toys, and games and building toys.” This marketing gender bias makes it easier for boys to be introduced into science or engineering related toys, normalizing LEGOs, Tinker Toys, and model constructions as “boys toy” and leaving girls with non-science related dolls, tea sets, and dress-up kits. Consequently, these types of toys actually influence later scientific achievement, as those who played with the science or engineering toys had a “higher scientific achievement” than those who played with non-science related dolls (Smith). Therefore, an applicable solution to breaking this barrier would be to simply end gender insensitivity in advertisements to get more girls to play with STEM toys and ultimately, spike more female interest and achievement in STEM.
In addition to toy marketing, reducing gender bias in media can make STEM careers more socially acceptable and appealing to girls. Simply searching up scientist, programmer, engineer, or mathematician cartoon on Google yields severely male dominated images. As society and the media traditionally view STEM careers as a masculine endeavor, this portrayal can negatively “influence girls’ attitudes and performance in STEM fields” and ingrain the “latent gender stereotypes” into girls’ minds (Saucerman et al.). With this regard, the lack of females in the STEM media, just like the lack of role models, dissuades women to join STEM careers on this seemingly male territory. To combat these established views and stereotypes, having the media to yield less gender bias in STEM can ultimately improve the attitudes and achievements of women in joining this field.
Because of traditional gender roles and stereotypes, as well as discrimination and profiling in the workplace, the number of women in STEM fields has increased in the last half century, but participation from women is still far behind that of men. The effects of these factors have lead to continued discrimination. To remedy this problem, many groups are trying to reach out to young women by offering workshops and clubs with the purpose of exposing them to science and engineering at a young age. Confronting gender stereotypes may be the most important step in getting women the support they need to make a STEM field their lifelong career. Support from their families, schools, and presence of positive role models like female science teachers can tell these young girls that they can achieve just as much as their male classmates in science, math, and engineering. And making toy advertising and media more gender inclusive can also relinquish the exclusiveness of the field. This is why Bill Nye, though undoubtedly a great impact on kids, could have really used a woman co-host to show girls that they can be a part of science, too.
Barber, Leslie A. “U.S. Women in Science and Engineering, 1960-1990: Progress toward Equity?” Journal of Higher Education 66.2 (1995): 213+. Student Resources in Context [Gale]. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.
The thesis of this piece is that from 1960 to 1990, the number of women getting science and engineering degrees has gone up. However, this is because of a broader cultural shift towards equality, not specific to the fields of science and engineering. Compared to the amount of women now in college and the work force, it becomes apparent that getting women involved in these fields is still an issue. It is easy to see that the number of women in science and engineering have gone up since the 60’s. The number of bachelor’s degrees and doctorates that women have received in these fields have gone up, but so has the number of women getting degrees in general. The upwards trend of women getting these degrees is because there are more women who enter college. The trend is not specific to science or engineering. In fact, it is clear that science is still a male dominated world. As of the 90’s, only about five percent of women who received a bachelor’s degree went on to get a doctorate. The author speculates that the issue is not a lack of interest, rather a lack of acceptance for women in these fields. Leslie Barber wrote this article for the journal of higher education in 1995. The article was found it on a reputable database (Student resources in context.) Barber herself was a research scientist who explains that she ended her career in 1990 (but does not say why.) Barber has provided a very long list of her sources at the bottom of the article. The intended audience of this piece is researchers and other interested people who want to know more about this important social trend. This article was great for finding the statistics from the 1960s to the 1990s that back up the thesis.
Beede, David, Tiffany Julian, David Langdon, Beethika Khan, George McKittrick, and Mark Doms. “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation.” Economics and Statistics Administration 4.11 (2011): n. pag. Web. <http://www.esa.doc.gov/reports/women-stem-gender-gap-innovation>.
The STEM workforce is only about 25% women, even though they make up half the workforce. This article gives a lot of data on women in STEM. It starts by explaining that from 2000-2009, women’s share of the workforce as a whole went up by three percent but their share of STEM careers stayed at 24%. It delves into individual fields in the STEM world, summed up, women’s participation has increased in engineering, life sciences, and managing positions in STEM. It has declined in computer and math careers, which employ the most people out of the STEM career group. The article then looks at the pay gap between men and women in STEM, finding that WIS make 86 cents to a man in STEM’s dollar, which is a smaller gap than the average gap for other professions in America. It also points out that people employed in a STEM career make significantly more than their non-STEM counterparts. Finally, the article looks at college degrees earned in STEM by women, finding similar results that only about 25% of degrees earned in STEM are earned by women. The breakdown of degrees earned in individual STEM fields is also given. In college, many STEM women tend to major in life or physical science (57%). About 10% major in math, which is actually higher than the male 6% and the number of men and women entering computer sciences is equal. However, men major in engineering twice as much as women. In every field, the actual number of men majoring is higher because there are more men studying degrees in STEM. The authors are writing for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, which is a reputable source for finding information about the workforce. This article was intended for a wider audience than some of the more complicated sources written on this topic. The language is easy to understand and there are lots of graphs to support their claims. This article provided this paper with information about individual STEM careers.
Bottia, Martha Cecilia et al. “Growing the Roots of STEM Majors: Female Math and Science High School Faculty and the Participation of Students in STEM.” EBSCOhost, EBSCOhost, Apr. 2015,
This source explores how high school demographics have a large impact in attracting and retaining women in stem careers. This study suggests that the proportion of female STEM teachers has a powerful effect on increasing female students’ probability of graduating with a STEM degree in college through correlational and survey in school districts. Students’ high school experiences are then very important in coinciding with later career choices, and changing high school STEM demographics can be one way society to bring more women into STEM. This source was written all by multiple female authors therefore it could have gender or personal bias. This source was written for people interested in growing the roots of STEM for women and informs the reader on the impact of high school faculty on women’s participation in STEM – A way we can get more women in STEM.
Dickhauser, O., & Meyer, U. (2006). Gender differences in young children’s math ability attributions. Psychological Science, 48, 3–16. Child Development, 70, 304–316.
This psychological journal analyzes the teacher’s evaluation of female and male students. It found there is a disparity in how teachers view female and male students in math, despite having equal ability. This journal also found how the teachers’ views affect the female youth and how it contributes to being a psychological barrier for women. The source is part of a larger series of Psychology Science, and because it included an actual study, it’s very credible. The study shows yet another barrier for women in STEM.
Glass, Jennifer L., et al. “What’s So Special About STEM? A Comparison Of Women’s Retention In STEM And Professional Occupations.” Social Forces 92.2 (2013): 723-756. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.
The thesis of this paper is that women in STEM careers leave their careers for other fields more than other professional women such as businesswomen or lawyers. Women in STEM often have to set specific expectations for family life such as marrying and having children later in life if they want to have a good chance of staying in their career. This paper is based on a longitudinal study that followed a group of young adults that entered the workforce in 1979 and went to 2008. They worked through the data and specifically looked at women in STEM careers versus women in other professional careers like law or business. They found that women in STEM had a much lower retention rate than women in other professional careers. The number of women leaving STEM is mostly due to women switching professions, not women leaving the workforce altogether in order to care for a family, even though this happens quite a bit as well. Reasons that women may leave their STEM careers are that even if men and women are offered benefits like paid maternity/paternity leave and the option to work flexible hours, men don’t take them as often and women feel as if they are being judged for taking them. Women are also not given as much responsibility in their STEM jobs. Jennifer L Glass, Sharon Sassler, Yael Levitte, and Katherine M. Michelmore have written this paper as part of a research grant from the University of North Carolina. This is intended for very well read and educated people who are interested in knowing more about women in STEM. This paper provided a comparison Women in STEM to women in other careers, instead of men in STEM
Herrmann, Sarah D et al. “Basic and Applied Social Psychology.” The Effects of a Female Role Model on Academic Performance and Persistence of Women in STEM Courses: : Vol 38, No 5, EBSCOhost, 19 Aug. 2016, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01973533.2016.1209757.
This source contains an explanation on how a lack of STEM female role models contribute to the decline of women in STEM. Because women don’t have as many role models as men have in STEM careers, women are more likely to leave STEM careers compared to men. As without these role models, women feel less welcomed in this study and are more likely to drop out of STEM courses compared to men. But with these role models, women feel less threatened by the technology stereotype and are more likely to succeed in the course, being motivated by role models. This was all proven through a study done seeing how women were affected with a lack or presence of a STEM role model. This was written by 6 authors from Arizona State University. This means the information is most likely reliable, being processed from 6 people, but it could also be inconsistent to each of the writer’s style. This source adds to our paper as it elaborates on one specific barrier for women joining STEM careers: lack of role model or support from peers, teachers, and teacher assistants and how it affects women.
Miller, Claire Cain. “Technology’s Man Problem.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 5 Apr. 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/technology/technologys-man-problem.html?_r=2.
This article follows the story of many women in technology based careers that have felt that they do not belong in their workplaces. One programmer in particular reports being harassed in at her job. The article provided the paper with a great example of disparity in the workplace, using a quote from the programmer who was harassed. The New York Times is a reputable paper and the stories come from real women giving interviews.
Parke, Phoebe. “Ask the Experts: How Do We Get Girls into STEM?” CNN, Cable News Network, 27 Oct. 2014, www.cnn.com/2014/10/27/world/europe/how-to-get-girls/.
This article analyzes how to bring more girls in the STEM and it includes insight from female experts in STEM industry. Most interviewed STEM female experts agreed that role models, early technology games, early exposure, and STEM programs are needed to break girls out of the stereotype that they don’t belong in STEM, that it’s only a male career. This article was created by CNN and it’s very credible because their quotes were from actual interviews. There is also significant ethos in this article because the STEM females interviewed are from big name companies or in a high position at their company. Ultimately this article gives perspective on how to bring more girls in STEM from women who have been in the field and experienced the struggles.
Parker, Kim. “Women More than Men Adjust Their Careers for Family Life.” Pew Research Center RSS. N.p., 01 Oct. 2015. Web. 08 Nov. 2016. <http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/10/01/women-more-than-men-adjust-their-careers-for-family-life/>.
The thesis of this article is that women are giving up advancing in their careers in order to stay home with their families, and even though that percentage has gone down, most of those polled say that in an ideal family situation, a mother should work part time or stay at home, while a father should work full time. The article talks about how although the gap has been decreasing over the years, women are still much more likely to adjust their working hours or quit their jobs for family life than men are. Though most people don’t want to go back to the days of a woman’s place being in the home, public opinion polls still suggest that the majority of Americans still believe that having a stay at home mom is the ideal situation for a child. American men are held to no such standard. However, the gap between the number of women and men who adjust their work life for family is decreasing. This researcher sees it as a generational shift instead of a cultural shift, with more millennial women reporting that they do not plan to be a stay at home mom, and more millennial men expecting to have to adjust their work schedules to accommodate for their families. The author is Kim Parker, who is the director of social trends research at the PEW research center. Not only is this a reputable source, but Kim Parker is herself a woman in a STEM field. The intended audience is anyone who needs their data for research. PEW prides itself on being very non partisan and not taking editorial opinions when reporting what they find through their polls. This source helped when analyzing the causes of this trend in the paper.
Purcell, P.E. Karen D. “5 Ways to Get Girls into STEM.” RSS, Edutopia, 21 Oct. 2015, http://edut.to/2dUrEMX.
This source analyzes five ways to introduce more women into STEM: exposing girls early on to STEM, having more girls participate in STEM programs, fostering community opportunities, mentoring, and education. It was written by an author, engineer, and entrepreneur and gives practical insight on the solutions to STEM programs.
Saucerman, Jennifer, and Kris Vasquez. “Psychological Barriers to STEM Participation for
Women Over the Course of Development.” Adultspan Journal 13.1 (2014): 46-64.
EBSCOhost. Web. 8 Oct. 2016.
The journal outlines the many barriers to women in joining STEM careers. Many of female’s disinterest in STEM careers are attributed to the parents and teachers empowering male but not female children in childhood. Parents and teachers help shape the mindset that boys are better at math than women for children. They do this through “number talk,” subconsciously promoting male children and not female children in math/science, and female teacher’s anxiety. This source explores this disparity in childhood science development and found that consequently, a stereotype becomes ingrained in female children’s mind that they aren’t as good as their male counterparts in STEM subjects. This later psychologically prevents them from being interested in STEM Careers. The author who wrote about this source works in the Department of Educational Psychology of the University of Wisconsin and the Department of Psychology of Alverno College, giving them qualification and not much bias as a psychology major. People interested in why there are so little women in stem compared to men may check out this source as it gives all the causes and barriers for women to join STEM careers.
Smith, Nareissa L. “Built for Boyhood?: A Proposal for Reducing the Amount of Gender Bias in the Advertising of Children’s Toys on Television.” Adultspan , vol. 13, no. 1, Apr. 2014.
This paper focuses on the effect of gendered advertising on children’s mindsets. Smith claims that toys marketed towards girls are most often dolls or stuffed animals, whereas toys marketed towards young boys focus on building, transportation, and sports. The effect of this marketing early on in life is a bigger influence on children than people may think. This paper helped us analyze a cause of the gender disparity in STEM careers because if girls were included in advertisements for toys that encourage science and engineering, it would be seen as more socially acceptable for them to go into a science or engineering career. Naerissa Smith included many sources in her work, and the paper is published through a reputable journal.
Wong, Julia Carrie. “Women Considered Better Coders – but Only If They Hide Their Gender.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 12 Feb. 2016, www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/12/women-considered-better-coders-hide-gender-github.
This Guardian article informs the readers of a study that shows women’s codes were approved at a higher rate, but only if their gender was not disclosed. The study found that all things being equal, software developers were much more likely to go through with a code designed by a man. This was a great example of discrimination in a STEM career that was used in this paper to support the claim that gender profiling exists in the STEM workplace. The Guardian is a reputable newspaper and the study used was legitimate.