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Careers Have no Gender Colorado Collaborative for Girls in STEM Jennifer Jirous STEM & Arts Program Director Colorado Community College System
Inventions by Women • Kevlar (1964 ) Stephanie Kwolek • Nystatin (1950) Rachel Fuller Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen • Windshield wiper (1903) Mary Anderson • Dishwasher (1886) Josephine Cochrane • Square bottom paper bag (1871) Margaret Knight • Colored flare system (1857) Martha Coston • Compiler and COBOL Language (1950’s) Grace Hopper • Liquid paper (1958) Bessie Nesmith • Chocolate Chip Cookie (1930) Ruth Graves Wakefield • Circular saw (1812) Tabitha Babbit
STEM Sources • Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation (2011) U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration ESA Issue Brief #03-11 • Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (2010) American Association of University Women • Colorado’s K-12 STEM Ed Report Card (2011) STEMConnector
Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation U.S Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration Issue Brief August 2011
What is a STEM job? Professional and technical support occupations in the fields of computer science and mathematics, engineering, and life and physical sciences Source: U.S. Department of Commerce: Economics and Statistics Administration, ESA Issue Brief #04-11, August 2011.
National Statistics (2009) • 7.4 million workers in STEM jobs or 5.3% of the population • 91% of STEM jobs require post-secondary education (2018) • Occupational area • 47% Computer and mathematical science • 32% Engineering and surveying • 12% Physical sciences • 8% STEM management jobs Source: U.S. Department of Commerce: Economics and Statistics Administration, ESA Issue Brief #04-11, August 2011.
Colorado Statistics (2011) • 232,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018 • $74,958 Average salary (2005-2008) • Occupational area • 115,000 Computer and Mathematical Science • 58,000 Engineers and technicians • 30,000 Life and physical sciences • 17,000 Architects and technicians • 12,000 Social Sciences Source: Colorado’s K-12 STEM Ed Report Card 2011, STEMConnector, 222.stemconnector.org
Women in STEM jobs • Women comprise 48% of workforce but only 24% of STEM workers • Earn 33% more than women in non-STEM jobs making the wage gap smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs • Those with STEM degree less likely than males to work in STEM occupation; more likely to work in education or healthcare Source: U.S. Department of Commerce: Economics and Statistics Administration, ESA Issue Brief #04-11, August 2011.
Despite the positive trends in high school, the transition from high school to college is a critical time for young women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics American Association of University Women (AAUW) 2010 www.aauw.org
Women are less likely than men are to declare a STEM major in college. Source: Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. Data derived from Cooperative Institutional Research Program, Higher Education Research Institute, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 1990 through Fall 2006, www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/heri.htm.
Bachelor's Degrees Conferred, by Gender,1971–72 to 2006–07 Women have earned the majority of bachelor’s degrees since 1982. Source: Snyder, T.D., Dillow, S.A., and Hoffman, C.M. (2009). Digest of Education Statistics 2008 (NCES 2009-020). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.
Women’s representation among STEM bachelor’s degree holders has improved over time but varies by field. Bachelor’s Degrees Earned by Women in Selected Fields, 1966–2006 Source: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, 2008, Science and engineering degrees: 1966–2006 (Detailed Statistical Tables) (NSF 08-321) (Arlington, VA), Table 11, Author's analysis of Tables 34, 35, 38, & 39.
Women are underrepresented in many science and engineering occupations. Percentage of Employed STEM Professionals Who Are Women, Selected Professions, 2008 Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009, Women in the labor force: A databook (Report 1018) (Washington, DC), Table 11.
AAUW drew on the large body of academic research on gender in science in a number of fields and identified eight research findings that help to explain the underrepresentation of women and girls in STEM.
Why So Few? presents evidence that social and environmental factors contribute to the underrepresentation of women and girls in STEM. • Eight research findings in three areas: • How social and environmental factors • shape girls’ achievements and interests • in math and science • The climate of college and university • science and engineering departments • Continuing influence of bias
Girls’ achievements and interests in math and science are shaped by the environment around them.
Negative stereotypes about girls’ and women’s abilities in math and science adversely affect their performance in these fields. • Expose girls to successful female role models in math and science. • Teach students about stereotype threat. Performance on a Challenging Math Test, by Stereotype Threat Condition and Gender Source: Spencer, S. J., Steele, C. M., & Quinn, D. M., 1999, "Stereotype threat and women's math performance," Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35(1), p. 13.
In math and science, a growth mindset benefits girls. • Teach children that intellectual skills can be acquired. • Praise children for effort. • Highlight the struggle. • Gifted and talented programs should send the message that they value growth and learning.
Spatial skills are not innate and can be improved with training. One of the largest and most persistent gender gaps in cognitive skills is found in the area of mental rotation, where boys consistently outperform girls. Playing with building toys as well as drawing can help children develop spatial skills.
Women are “harder on themselves” in terms of assessing their abilities in math and science fields. Does this rectangle have more black or more white?
Set clear performance standards • Help girls recognize their career-relevant skills
Bias, often unconscious, limits women’s progress in scientific and engineering fields.
Even people who consciously reject negative stereotypes about women in science can still hold those beliefs at an unconscious level. Most people associate science and math fields with “male” and humanities and arts fields with “female.” • Take a test to learn about your unconscious bias at https://implicit.harvard.edu. • Take steps to address your biases.
Women in nontraditional fields can find themselves in a “double bind.” • Women in “male” jobs are viewed as less • competent than their male peers. • When women are clearly competent, they • are often considered less “likable.” • Raise awareness about bias against women • in STEM fields. • Create clear criteria for success.
Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics To download the report: www.aauw.org To contact the researchers: email@example.com
Thank You! Jennifer Jirous Colorado Community College System Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org