Gender and The Divide

Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Rocket clouds
Gender and The Divide by Mind Map: Gender and The Divide

1. How Can We Encourage More Girls to Love STEM

1.1. These are the main reasons why girls are not loving STEM:

1.1.1. 1. Their learning environment does not support them. Separating science courses for boys and girls could be a solution so that girls are not intimated when asking questions and put-down. 2. The lack of women role-models to see and ask how to balance work/family life, recognize and call out sexism/discrimination/bias and stay creative as a woman The solutions to this issue would be to start promoting science to girls in schools. There are many ways to do this. The article suggests doing hands-on projects and experimenting where the classes are fun and engaging. In addition to science in school, educators should refer to how science is used in every aspect of your day. Relating these projects to yourself makes it more engaging and enjoyable to learn. Bring in guest women speakers who use STEM in their careers so young girls can see what a woman in that field looks like. When promoting STEM outside of school, places like the library, your local park, and local science/tech organizations would be great places to introduce students to a new topic or spark questions. In the Easy Bay there are the Friends of Joaquin Miller Park that endorse nature and everything involved including science and biology. The Chabot Space and Science Center offering everything about astronomy and space. The Oakland Museum of California explores the Easy Bay's nature showing the diverse natural sciences. For more technology related fields, Blackgirlscode and Hackthehood promote computer science and coding for women of color. By attending these spaces or practicing certain STEM based projects for girls, they begin to construct the knowledge and know-how to "overcome the gender inequalities and societal stereotypes" that persist in education. The article stated that boys have more spatial skills that are required to perform certain experiments. It continues to suggest that girls take up drawing and tinkering with objects by taking them apart and putting it together. I agree, but women already do these things that create that spatial skills. The article by Eileen Pollack who shared her journey of being a woman in STEM states that girls are already doing activities like "sewing, knitting and designing things." Growing up I saw that it was easier for girls to write in a journal or diary, doodle their thoughts and organize. These are qualities that are needed in the STEM careers. Making these skills transferable is the means to encouraging them to start or continue their STEM enthusiasm.

2. Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?

2.1. This article was a good mix of personal narrative and hard facts. The author made me understand her enthusiasm, frustration, and the reason for wanting a more just environment for women in STEM. In the article she asked questions of why I had walked away from my dream, and why so many other women still walk away from theirs?" She commented on the attitudes of her educators when they did or did not attempt to encourage more women to pursue graduate or doctorate school. The author also shared her experiences dealing institutionalized discrimination in academia and the professional world and how it effects everyone even women who claim to be unbiased. She closes it out by documenting a new generation of women in STEM and how they are not as phased by the discrimination and sexism the author endured at their age.

2.1.1. The author shares her experience of growing up in the late 1970s attending Yale. This is where she sees the true disparity amongst women in STEM. Before attending Yale and in order to learn she had to go outside of school to the library and research on her own due to the teacher telling her she is not adequate for physics. This resistance is what needs to happen in order to advance. She did not settle for what they gave her and ended up exceeding far beyond the men upon graduation. I do wonder what her story would have been like if she had grown up on the West coast or Mid-West? What is she was a woman of color?

2.1.2. The author spoke on how educators do not encourage women to pursue careers in STEM. She was a victim of this and realized that she should create an open discussion about these issues. Her courage to approach this topic was met with comrades and allies who had shared similar experiences. This convening and researching of those experiences brought forth younger women who have surpassed her challenges and could give feedback o what got them to where they are at. This section in the article is what is needed to confront issues on discrimination among the STEM fields. In the Women Fleeing Tech article, the main solution was to have a community for women to gather and openly discuss the issues and possible solutions. With a quick Google search, I found about 3 women's groups related to technology that hold meetings and go to events.

2.1.3. The data came in the form of an experiment where they gave the same resume and information of two applicants one being male and the other female to American faculty at research institutes in the US. The data showed that regardless of the qualifications, the man was still paid more and seen as more qualified. The astonishing moment was that female faculty were biased towards the male. She asked how do we confront these issues when we ourselves are still suffering from internalized discrimination amongst women? This is a real question that is asked for all underrepresented peoples. The video we watched highlighted only a few influential female scientist, but how we do we see past the Edison's and Dalton's. I do agree with her that we need to systematically change the culture of science where it recognizes the Ada Lovelaces or Madam CJ Walkers of the world.

2.1.4. I did feel optimistic when she closed the article detailing her experience with young grad students whose program was more welcoming to women than hers ways in the 1970s. These women seemed bold and unapologetic when the author shared her concerns for women in STEM. This to me is natural due to people like Eileen dealing with sexism and paving the road for younger women can benefit from the struggles they endured. Being a women in the tech industry today is a practice of social justice. This year Ellen Pao, went up against her own company for discriminatory practices. Even though she lost, many had felt like this was the beginning of speaking up against the practices of major technology corporations. Similar to the police shooting of unarmed people of color, people are starting to become aware of the unheard injustice in the tech and science fields.

3. Women Fleeing Tech Field: Causes and Solutions

3.1. The main causes for women leaving the tech industry

3.1.1. A common belief to why women are not in more STEM fields is that tech jobs are being outsourced to other countries where labor is much cheaper and available. This maybe true for big corporations, but staying local could be a solution to this challenge. In the Bay Area, there are many start-ups, tech related NGOs and smaller companies that do not see the need to outsource due to their local presence.

3.1.2. Not having a complete understanding of what the job requires of the person can make be intimidating. Researching and finding people who do that job can help when wanting to ask questions about the job or getting advice. Finding other women who can support by offering guidance and resources

3.1.3. A common misconception that STEM careers are for nerds or highly intelligent people who do not conform to some of society's standards. The negative stereotypes we put on intelligent people is misconceiving. Many solutions to problems require science and technology. Eliminating the amount of people creating solutions can be disabling. Cuba lost their engineers in the 1960s, so they started to create their own DIY solutions to many problems. Check it out here

3.1.4. It is easier to obtain other careers in STEM either as a nurse, physician or in pharmaceuticals. The majority of nurses and front desk staff are female, while the majority of doctor are men. It is quicker to go to nursing school than med school. And nursing school gives more flexibility for a family.

3.2. Factors that prevent women from pursuing careers in STEM

3.2.1. The balance of work and family life can be demanding. These career fields are time-consuming and mentally draining whether it's research, writing or lab work. On top of these factors in their job, the needs of their family, partner and/or friends must be met. Even taking a break for yourself seems difficult in certain STEM careers.

3.2.2. A main factor for success in any career would be a mentor or a More Knowledgeable Other(MKO). In Germany, youth have the option of going to university or learning a trade from an mentor or Ausbilder(outside teacher). Succeeding in any career depends on having the proper support groups. In a field that is highly dominated by men, having that space to express oneself is important. Support systems can help build confidence by voicing your opinions and receiving validation from likeminded peers to express those ideas outside of your group and into the workplace.

3.3. Eliminating stereotypes and the unconscious bias towards women in tech.

3.3.1. Those who encourage women in tech fields are at the first level of solving these issues. It is good to see more diversity in the work place, but is it intentional or is the company fulfilling a higher purpose. And once women are there, how does the environment around them support diversity and an unbiased attitude?

3.3.2. The second level of accepting and promoting gender equality would be to become aware of women's needs in the workplace. The article suggested more flexibility for conference calls and having a more open dialog about work issues.

3.3.3. Lastly, to go beyond just hiring women and making sure their needs are met, companies should attempt to change systematically. That can look like mandatory trainings on cultural relevancy for employees, honoring holidays that recognize women, creating a space for women to organize and discuss the work they do or having a consultancy on how to better adhere to the needs of everyone at the company.