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Women in STEM – week 44, 2016

06 November 2016

So, what interesting stuff has been published this week on Women in STEM? Well, lots! There’s a trend to be spotted in many of these articles, as previous posts have indicated already. Too many men working in the field is off-putting. Role models wanted! That is no surprise, really, is it? But still, it’s interesting to see that the international attention for this gap is growing fast.

  • There is still a lot of work to be done to change the perception of cyber security and corporate culture to attract more women to the profession, according to a panel of security professionals. Schools should do more, as should employers.
  • A study found that when women planned to delay marriage and limit the number of children they wanted — which would let them focus exclusively on work — they didn’t get the same employment opportunities in STEM as men.
  • Another study, from a more psychological point of view, says differences between more and less gender-balanced fields stem from the presence of masculine culture in the classroom, which encompasses current stereotypes about who has ability in STEM fields, and a lack of relatable role models. Sapna Cheryan, lead author, says that “Star Trek jokes and geek culture make women feel unwelcome in computer science”.
  • And yet another study claims schools should start as early as kindergarten to get girls interested in mathematics and science.
  • For a different tune, the writer of this Guardian article wants us to stop blaming schools for the lack of women in tech. “The truth is we’re all to blame for the lack of girls leaving school with a desire to work in the technology industry, but the industry could certainly do more to help.”
  • Talking about role models, here’s one that speaks out. Koren Murphy says “I’m not a fleece-wearing nerd just because I do Engineering”. If you know more articles like this, please let us know!
  • More role models: At the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, four women shared how alternative education paths brought them to a career in technology, CNET reports.

We’ll be on the lookout for more role-model stories. If you want to inspire others, you might just earn yourself a spot as a guest blogger on this very website. Please contact us, if so!

Esther - post author

Esther is software product manager who likes the human factor in IT. If she's not busy doing that, she likes to drive her motorcycle, play sax, ride her racebike, and get in touch with speakers for Girl Geek Dinner.