STEM Women Case Study
As Josie drove down the road with her husband Mark in tow, her car began to sputter. Soon billows of smoke began to emit from her car and she knew she had to stop. She popped the hood, got out the car and began to examine the engine. Mark called out from the passenger side of the car and inquired if she required assistance. He knew better than to stop her while she was diagnosing her car. A few minutes later she stopped tinkering and asked mark to call a tow truck. After about 30 minutes and a few necessary adjustments, Josie recognized the rattling of a tow truck advancing. As the man approached the car, he glanced over quickly at Josie, in her bright pink dress and polka dot heels and smiled. He nodded a brief …show more content…
Be that as it may, there are still many career fields in which women are underrepresented. Evidence of the aforementioned disproportionate representation is clearly evident in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. As a STEM woman, this confounded me. What factors contributed to the lack of strong female presence-- a phenomenon which I considered an anomaly. Were there any recognized biological differences which made men more capable of achieving success in STEM fields than women?
“In 1990, Janet Shibley Hyde, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, and colleagues published a groundbreaking meta-analysis that compiled data from 100 different studies of math performance. Synthesizing data collected on more than 3 million participants between 1967 and 1987, the researchers found no large overall differences between boys and girls in math performance. In fact, Girls were slightly better at computation in elementary and middle school. However, in high school, boys showed a slight edge in problem solving, possibly because they took more science classes that emphasized those skills. Yet, boys and girls understood math concepts equally well and any gender differences actually narrowed over the years, belying the notion of a fixed or biological differentiating factor. (Cite) Therefore, if ability has been shown not to be a differing factor, what contributes to the disparity of gender representation in certain STEM fields? After all, women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce.