In 1965, the Library of Congress got its first computer--so big that it had to be delivered one piece at a time. Back then, it most likely would have been women helping input data into a machine-readable format. That’s because, in the ’60s and ’70s, many believed that women were on track to outnumber men in tech. In fact, the number of women studying data processing was growing faster than the number of men.
A new survey shows that the number of girls interested in pursuing STEM careers is alarmingly small–and it continues to decline. The survey from Junior Achievement, conducted by the research group Engine, shows that only 9 percent of girls ages 13-17 express an interest in STEM careers, down from 11 percent in a similar 2018 survey.
Today it’s mostly a man’s world in computer science -- and a tally of the authors behind nearly 3 million research papers in the field suggests that could be the case for the rest of the 21st century. The findings, reported by researchers at Seattle’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, point to how far the scientific community still has to go when it comes to gender equality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.
A new study suggests exposure to high-achieving boys can erode girls’ achievements and confidence, especially in STEM subjects. Buy why? And what can we do about it? Once upon a time, girls weren’t expected to learn much in school. The only reason for a girl to go to college, the thinking went, was to meet a potential husband. Thankfully, these backwards notions have all but disappeared from most corners of our society.
According to common stereotypes, women are better at languages and history, while men are better at chemistry and math. But are these categorizations based on fact?
Unfortunately, “bias” can mean a great many things, none of which are quite the same. Sometimes, people use simply to refer to two groups that are unequal. Sometimes it means prejudice. Sometimes, it means discrimination. How these ideas, or claims, are related yet different is beyond the scope of this essay, which, instead, deals only with gender bias.
It’s been said that “women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world,” and according to the data, it’s not just a saying--it’s a fact. Between 2011 and 2016 there was a 38% increase in STEM-fundamental Bachelor’s degrees awarded to women, and that includes engineering. Yet surprisingly, women still make up just 13% of the existing engineering workforce. Meanwhile, the manufacturing industry has been riddled with the same dilemma.
Move over, crafts and cookies. The Girl Scouts organization is making sure that their scouts get experience and exposure to women who work In STEM fields science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is now the largest pipeline in the U.S. for female leaders in STEM fields. And it has committed to getting 2.5 million young women into STEM careers by 2025. “We need to get Hawaii on this action,” says Shari Chang, CEO of Girl Scouts of Hawaii
On Sept. 25, Meir will co-pilot a Russian Soyuz spacecraft launching from Kazakhstan with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka. They will be joined by Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates. Meir, the daughter of a mother from Sweden and an Iraqi-Israeli father, holds Swedish and American citizenship. She will be the first Swedish woman, the fourth Jewish woman and the 15th Jew overall to be part of a space mission.
Women are entering the biomedical sciences in record rates. But what happens to these female doctors and scientists once they’re established in their careers? Do they receive the same support as their male colleagues?