Breaking The Stem Ceiling For Girls

from Brookings

Although countries have dramatically closed gender gaps in education and labor force participation, gender differences within education and employment persist. Women earn less income and work in lower paying occupations and sectors than men do. Women are less likely to become entrepreneurs, and, when they do, they typically run smaller, less-profitable firms. These gender gaps in entrepreneurship, incomes, and productivity persist at all levels of development, despite a multitude of policies aimed at eliminating them. And as countries move forward with closing glaring gender differences, other gaps become visible. 

Women’s participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, commonly known as STEM, is one of these areas, and one that seemingly refuses to budge. Although just as many girls as boys are completing high-school level education, and more women graduate from university worldwide than men, women remain a minority in the STEM fields. In the United States, for example, women earn only about 35 percent of the undergraduate degrees in STEM, a number that has remained unchanged for the past decade, even though they account for almost 60 percent of college graduates. And that statistic hides differences across STEM fields, with women earning about 40 percent of the degrees in mathematics, but only 18 percent of those in computer sciences or engineering.

More here.

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21 Responses to Breaking The Stem Ceiling For Girls

  1. Frankie Lisa April 7, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

    Today, many third world countries have tremendous gender gaps in education and labor force. Luckily most third world countries no longer have this problem, however gender differences within labor and employment still exist. For example, many argue that women make less money than men for the same amount of work. Also, women are less likely to be entrepreneurs and when they do, they usually turn up smaller and less profitable firms. We have gradually been closing the gaps to the problems previously mentioned, however there is still one gender gap in labor and education that simply refuses to close. That gap is the gender gap in STEM fields. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Although the same amount of men and women graduate high school, and more women graduate college than men, women still remain the minority in STEM fields. For example, in the United States, men earn about sixty five percent of the STEM degrees while women earn only about thirty five percent of the STEM degrees. There is also a great differential between the degrees men and women earn within STEM fields. For example, Women earn about forty percent of the degrees in mathematics, but they only earn about eighteen percent of the degrees in computer science and engineering.
    While most trends in the twenty first century suggest that the gap between men and women would be gradually closing, the opposite is true. The proportion of women receiving engineering or computer science degrees actually feel between 2004 and 2014. This problem does not only occur in the United States. Only four counties in all of Europe had at least fifteen percent of their STEM graduates be female. In Chile, that number was only twenty percent. Those women that do earn STEM degrees are even less likely to end up working in their field of study. In the United States, only one in seven women who earn a STEM degree actually end up working in that field of study. This ratio holds true in most countries.
    There are multiple reasons that can help explain why this gender gap still exists. One of these reasons is social norms. Social norms and parental expectations often determine the aspirations of children. It is becoming more and more socially acceptable for women to study STEM fields, and pursue them as a career. Once the next generation of kids enters college I think more of them will study STEM fields because they will have grown up with the belief that studying a STEM field is acceptable. I think having a more equal split between men and women in STEM fields will only benefit the field. I think it will bring more diverse opinions to the table and it will make the field more competitive. Making the field more competitive will only increase the level of expectations, and the level of performance.

  2. Sirina Natarajan April 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    It is not surprising that there is a struggle for women in STEM fields. Every movie and TV show that I watched growing up that involved laboratories and research facilities showed men in charge of the operation with maybe one female lab coat who would run and get coffee or screw up the procedure at some point. It is safe to say that women are not portrayed well and that may have an effect on the amount of women presently in those fields. Similarly, any science camp advertisement I saw at my school before the year ended depicted primarily boys partaking in the activities. Even during a science camp I went to following fourth grade, I was the only girl of sixteen kids in the camp. It is quite discouraging to be the only girl at camp and it did not help that all of the instructors were men. I do not think there is enough representation of women in STEM jobs, so it leads young women to believe that those types of jobs are not meant for them. Women are not encouraged to be engaged in these fields and it creates a barrier for them.
    I liked the point the author makes about the economic standstill and how this type of obstacle for women puts our economy at a disadvantage. If women are not utilizing their full potential and engaging in fields that they are interested in. There is not enough information given to young women about STEM job opportunities and what they can do in those fields. This decreases the number of women who are in those fields. There is then a gap in those jobs that should be occupied by women, but it is not. This means our economy is not operating at its full potential. In order to reach our optimum economy, we need to encourage women to learn about STEM jobs. Perhaps more educators could inform young girls about the job opportunities and what the field entails. I think there need to be better role models for these girls so they can know what they have the potential to become.
    This problem is rooted in the fact that women have only recently been able to even have an education and a job besides teaching. However, many departments and industries have been run by men for so long that it is difficult for women to enter the field. For instance, women have always been seen as nurses and teachers, so there was struggle when they wanted to join the business world. It is a man’s world and women are still striving to become equal with them. As a society, we need to realize that certain limitations are not just limiting women, but us as a whole. We need to be more open to women doing whatever job they want and not give them a problem like there was when women wanted to become more than secretaries. By allowing women to enter the field of their choice and not discouraging them at a young age, our society will flourish.

    • Danielle Gangemi November 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

      Although over the years countries have closed gender gaps, today there is still an immense problem with gender differences in education and employment. Men typically gain a higher income than woman and it is still a predominant issue. It is considered less likely for women to become entrepreneurs and if they get that far then they will probably run a smaller business that is less profitable in comparison to men. Women remain a minority in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as compared to men. More than half of women graduate college, however, only 35% of them earn degrees in STEM. The STEM degrees for women are progressively dropping. Even in the circumstance that women obtain a degree in these specific fields, they are less likely to actually get a job in that industry.

      Aspirations, information failures, and institutional factors are the three factors that constrain women’s ability to obtain a STEM job. Aspirations are created by parent expectations and societal norms. Information failures affect women’s decision to be in the STEM field and institutional factors limit their ability to get this type of job. Biases between men and women are developed starting at a young age. Boys are encouraged to study math or science, while women are not. If a woman overcomes these stereotypes and makes it into one of these industries, they are usually the only girl in that field and are discriminated against because they are female. This issue of fairness in not only the workplace, but in life, is an important one that everyone should pay close attention too. Women should be given the same opportunities as men, and women should be encouraged by educators to take up a STEM field. More information, less bias employees, and role models can help the future for young boys and girls and encourage equality.

      Women should certainly be created equal in the workplace. Over the years there are so many woman who have shocked the public by crossing societal norms and achieving things that people usually think are outrageous. Women should not be focused on, men and women should be treated equally in every circumstance. This impacts businesses because of women in the workplace and unfair treatment. There are often many lawsuits regarding unfair treatment in the workplace and businesses need to pay extra attention as to how they are treating their employees. There is no reason for a woman to earn less income than a man who completes the same job. It is essential for children to be taught at a young age that they can do and be whatever they want in their future, regardless of their gender, in order to close this gender gap.

  3. Nicolas F Carchio April 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    The STEM field is a field that has grown in its popularity as well as its participation of students coming into it in the past 30 years. The STEM field stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. For many years, women were discouraged from being in this field. Women were pushed into fields of business such as being marketing members, secretaries and other jobs. Women actually made up about 60 percent of college graduates according to this article, which demonstrates the influence that women have on higher education. The Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM fields require higher education such as a college degree, a masters or a doctorate. In these fields, women still only make up 35 percent of the STEM jobs, which begs the question on why this happens if they are the majority of people who are perusing higher education. In actuality, this answer is debatable, and challenging to come by.

    The reason that women only make up 35 percent of STEM jobs is primarily due to two things, lifestyle choices that are placed upon them for desiring a family and upon society. First, society in the modern era has made it a point to attempt to express the need, concern, and want for women in these fields. Universities and Colleges offer large scholarships and acceptances to women who want to pursue this field, which is why it is such a big deal that women are not entering into these jobs. The reality is that these jobs are very demanding, take many years of schooling to even become proficient in the subject, and are not very lucrative until later in life. These factors make STEM jobs seem very discouraging for women to attempt to pursue. Along with society, the want for a family and the pressure and burden of having children also contributes to women’s low participation rates in this field. Pregnancy is a challenge for both parties, the mother and the father. It is demanding, both physically and mentally, it is extremely tough to maintain a job while attempting to take care of a newborn baby for single moms as well as families who rely on duel incomes. This is why many people have to decide upon their career or growing a family. Many choose a family because a career is fleeting, and one’s family lasts forever. It is important to realize that creating a family and fighting the pressures of society have a large influence on why women are a lower participant in the STEM field jobs.

    The dilemma is then proposed as to discover how to fix this problem of low female participants in the STEM field. There are two things that could happen, first better Family Leave or Maternity Leave. With the implementation or strengthening of more protections like these, women will be able to have a family and maintain a demanding career. The second option is that nothing will change and things will stay the same. Many people value a family over a career, which is a fleeting principle. A family lasts forever and one can find happiness in a family as to a career that could be ended by a simple false story.

  4. Jacob Hoelting April 7, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    Gender bias or sexism are two things that people love to throw around these days. Even when nothing has to do with either of the two, when a women feels that she is being mistreated it is automatic sexism. For years are years people have been talking about the radical gap among men and women’s pay deemed the gender pay gap. This article talks about the increase in women in the STEM field which is amazing because women deserve this and can do everything a man can do. Women are equally, if not more, capable at completing work than that of their male counterparts. Women do a lot of this country and deserve to be paid and treated equally in the work place. Which they are. Now, in 2017, women are treated with the must respect in the work space and in every aspect of life. Women always preach about equality of the sexes saying that women are mistreated and looked down upon, but on the contrary they are being looked up to and given rights that did not exist ten years ago. The role in the household has now changed. In every movie, TV show, and/ or book the wife or women in the house holds all the power while the man is their acting like a dumbass. Just a little while ago the man was portrayed as “wearing the pants” in the family and he was the ultimate authority, but thanks to equality of the sexes people have become to realize that women are strong and independent. Not only that, but some women when faced with an example of sexism towards men shove it off, pretend it does not exist and/ or say that it is about time men get a taste of their own medicine. Their are two great examples of this. First, at the gym that I go to back home there is a work out room the has a big sign on it “Women’s Fitness” and on the door there is a sign that reads “Women only”. This is a blatant disregard for gender equality, in fact it is steeply against equality. If women truly wanted equality they would turn that space into a communal space for all to use or even just put a space up for just guys, but that would never happen becasue if men did that it would be sexist. Second example, war. It is required for every male of the brisk age of 19 to sign up for the draft, but not women. I have constantly believed that to be odd and have talked to a number of women about this topic and asked their opinion and they said, “That is one aspect of equality we do not mind not having”. True equality (true sarcasm). To be honest I do not care if women do not want to go to sign up for the draft because, frankly, I do not believe they should. I believe this becasue if we ever went to war like we did in World War II and require most people to go and fight for this country we need people to stay back and run the economy. In WWII women were the ones that stayed back and ran this economy to keep the country afloat, and did a hell of a job, but if men and women were both drafted this may not have been the case. I believe in equality of the sexes in all aspects and believe that a women should be given the same rights, liberties, and opportunities as men, but women have to realize that equal means the same. We all need to be on the same playing field with no one higher than the other.

  5. Antoneta Sevo April 7, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    The whole idea of girls learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is important for our future. Legally, some gender gaps have been fixed but in society, they still remain. This is a significant issue because it could affect future generations. However, there are ways to help encourage young girls to study these subjects. By beginning in the classroom and at home, a big difference could be made. Currently, there are not enough people in the schools to help young girls see their potential in these life-changing fields. There is also not enough inspiration coming from the parents either. In the article, “Breaking the STEM ceiling for girls” written by Ana Maria Munoz-Boudet and Ana Revenga, three main problems are brought up. They are “1) Aspirations that are molded by social norms and parental expectations; 2) information failures that affect the decisions to enter and stay in a STEM field; and 3) institutional factors that constrain women’s ability to enter a STEM job.” The first steps to working towards a more fair education and job opportunities is in school and at home.

    Women are fully capable of maintaining these jobs as long as they get the proper education and encouragement from those who can make an impact. There is also a lack of women today who can speak to younger girls about the program. The school is where it all starts. Usually, girls are not motivated to pursue math and science due to their surroundings. Sometimes high schools can be an environment that is not motivating. I had experienced this when I was speaking with my counselor about college possibilities. I told her I was thinking about applying to The College of New Jersey and she told me that it would be a reach school for me. I felt taken aback because I was applying to other schools that were even harder to get into. However, because she told me that there was no way to get money or be accepted into certain universities, I held back and did not apply to schools I wanted to. I realized how wrong I was after it was too late. My counselor’s terrible “guidance” lead me to doubt my own potential. I believe that is what is currently going on with girls and the STEM program. Teachers, counselors, and coaches need to be able to see the promise in students who could excel in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. It is essential to our future as a country due to all of the advances that are here or coming our way.

    While the school realizes how amazing and smart students can be, their parents must do the same. There can only be encouragement, and no set and unrealistic expectations. Society sometimes does not see women in these fields and that is something that needs to be changed. Women are as capable as men are to perform jobs in these industries. Companies must give the same opportunities to women as they do to men. Both genders are equal and that means it should be that way across all aspects. At times, I personally feel discouraged to reach for a goal because of preset societal norms. It is not fair or just for women to feel that way. That is why we are due for an impactful change.

  6. Christian Cox April 7, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

    STEM is an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Discussion of STEM-related programs has become the president’s priorities because not enough college students are pursuing degrees in these fields. The U.S. Department of Labor expects that there will be 1.2 million job openings in STEM related fields by 2018, but there will not be enough qualified graduates to fill them. The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. Yet today, few American students pursue expertise in STEM fields and we have an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects. That is why President Obama has set a priority of increasing the number of students and teachers who are proficient in these vital fields. These fields are vital and are underemployed, which is why it is so important to have more women in the field. STEM field jobs are overrun with men and is in desperate need for more female employees. Women account for only thirty five percent of all under graduate degrees in STEM, which has not changed in over a decade. This statistic is even more surprising when we consider the fact, that women account for sixty percent of all under graduate degrees. It is clear that STEM is the key to innovation and job creation, so it is apparent that the field has many opportunities due its incredible demand. President Obama when discussing international students said, “We should make it easier for the best and the brightest to not only stay here, but also to start businesses and create jobs here. In recent years, a full 25 percent of high-tech startups in the U.S. were founded by immigrants. That led to 200,000 jobs here in America. I’m glad those jobs are here. I want to see more of them created in this country. We need to provide them the chance.” We should not have to look beyond our borders for STEM innovators when we have many qualified women that need to understand the shear amount of opportunity that is available in the STEM field. Schools need to focus on STEM related work for all students, but especially women. Not just for the sake of equality but also for the field and the development of America. There is a projected increase of sixty two percent in biomedical engineers and a thirty six percent increase in medical scientists. These two are the largest but trailing behind are systems software developers, computer systems analysts, and mathematicians. We should spread awareness of the wonders of the STEM field to all young people and focus on STEM involvement in schools. And having schools offer STEM programs to school is the best way to develop the innovators of tomorrow.

  7. Owen Balseiro April 7, 2017 at 7:42 pm #

    I’m going to play half devil’s advocate for this one and half my own personal opinions for the information I have gathered about this topic and topics related to this one from years of people doing everything from screaming about it to attempting to sit down and talk about it.

    Why do people care so much about less women going into Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) than men. Is it harmful to a country’s economic situation if it isn’t equal, is it harmful to the world? As of now in “Western” civilization, a woman has the legal right to pursue any job that a man can. And legally they are to be paid the same amount of money for the same amount of worked. So then let me ask the question why does it matter that less women go into STEM field than men? According to the article, “So, why should we care? At a very basic level, it is a question of fairness. Women should have the same opportunities as men to choose to pursue and succeed in a STEM career. But there are also strong economic arguments for caring about the issue. If women and men are equally able, then the fact that women are not entering these fields of study or working in these sectors and occupations means that talent is being misused and that economies are less productive than they could be.”

    So let’s pick this apart bit and bit and see what we can gather from this quote. One of the first things to grab my attention is “At a very basic level, it is a question of fairness. Women should have the same opportunities as men to choose to pursue and succeed in a STEM career.” When it comes to fairness at least in the United States (since i cannot speak for any other country) legally women and men have the same opportunities before them and in practice the same can be said. But then why do women not flock to STEM fields to get a position there? The answer may be quite simple. They probably don’t want to, no one who complains about male dominance in STEM like fields or other male dominated fields, never seem to bring up female dominated fields like nursing or education. And why is that? Personally I have never been find out as every time I have seen that question been asked it has been avoided. But the question I would like to ask is, is there anything wrong with one gender dominating a field of study? If it is fine for women to dominate fields like nursing and education that it in turn should be fine for men to dominate business fields and STEM fields. Maybe one gender is better as a certain field than another? To get down to the basics, men and women are genetically different. For the most part men are taller and develop muscles more easily, women on the other hand are much better with children and can usually read between the lines during conversations. There are obviously many more differences but it shows that if men and women are biologically different from one another, could it then be possible that those differences mean that one gender can excel in one field while the other excels in another? Could it be that hundreds of generations of women bringing up and raising children has given them a natural ability of taking care of people? Could it be that hundreds of years of men fighting and adapting to outside factors has made them adept at creating communities of likeminded people to try and accomplish a goal? In truth I think this article is trying to find a problem where there is none and thus trying to create a problem where one doesn’t need to be. So far no literature has come out saying gender equality it a must in each and every field for a healthy economy to succeed and I do not believe one ever will. There will always be exceptions to the rule but maybe we should accept and embrace the idea that gender may be a factor in what job you could be good at.

  8. Taylor Salomon April 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm #

    It is most common for males to enter the STEM field rather than women. Most women are proving this stereotype wrong by involving themselves in mathematics or engineering fields. For instance, I am a mathematical finance major. Math has always been a passion of mine since middle school. I am excited to enter the STEM field especially because I can get involved with sports. I would love to do analytics for the National Basketball Association. This article titled “Breaking The Stem Ceiling For Girls” focuses on closing the gender gap within employment and education.
    True or false: women earn less income and work in lower paying occupations and sectors than men do. Unfortunately, women are less likely to become entrepreneurs. If they do get involved, then they typically run smaller less- profitable firms. I strongly disagree with this statement. In high school, I was enrolled in Young Entrepreneurs Academy. It was a 30- week long program where students created business idea and launched it as a real business. The class was split 50/50 between females and males. This proves this statement wrong. There is an ongoing issue with gender gaps in entrepreneurships and incomes and this article places emphasis on it.
    In regards to participation, STEM is not explored across every nation. Women’s participation in STEM fields is one of these areas and one that seemingly refuses to budge. This is extremely sad because I feel happy enter time I enter and leave math class. It is also depressing because more women graduate from university worldwide than men. Student Frakie Lisa explores this situation further. He states “This problem does not only occur in the United States. Only four counties in all of Europe had at least fifteen percent of their STEM graduates be female. In Chile, that number was only twenty percent. Those women that do earn STEM degrees are even less likely to end up working in their field of study. In the United States, only one in seven women who earn a STEM degree actually end up working in that field of study. This ratio holds true in most countries.
    There are multiple reasons that can help explain why this gender gap still exists. One of these reasons is social norms. Social norms and parental expectations often determine the aspirations of children. It is becoming more and more socially acceptable for women to study STEM fields, and pursue them as a career. Once the next generation of kids enters college I think more of them will study STEM fields because they will have grown up with the belief that studying a STEM field is acceptable.” The article states “women remain a minority in the STEM fields”. I aspire to do something about the situation by generating a STEM after school tutoring program for young girls who aspire to enter the STEM field. With this, more companies will have a diverse population and the gender gap will continue to close. Women have so much to contribute to society; STEM is one of them.

  9. Benjamin Jaros April 7, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    It is very interesting that this article touches on an issue so close to home. In my family, the go to profession for most members is engineering. On my dad’s side, my grandfather and two of my aunts’ and uncles are engineers. Whereas, on my mom’s side, my grandfather and two of my uncles’ are engineers. Further, I think it was very helpful for my sister Alex, growing up to see examples of female engineers early on. In addition, it eliminated any of the stigma surrounding engineering as a “male only” profession in the eyes of my parents because both of them had siblings study engineering. They may not have understood it, but they did not hold any presumptuous views about the field and those who studied within it.
    Nevertheless, my sister Alex from an early age loved building things and taking things apart and putting them back together. Moreover, in high school, Calculus came very easily to her. Therefore, Engineering was her top and one of her only choices for major. And I would not be surprised if studies behind the issue demonstrated that women who have easily accessible female role models in a particular field are also more likely to follow in that field.
    Anyways, that was my personal experience backing up a point of the article. My other thoughts on the article have to do with the articles discussion on social influence of gender roles. While, I was raised in house where women, my mom, could be anything a lawyer, doctor, engineer, etc. others are not. Further, if one is raised without working mothers or women in the picture, then they may see their future career differently. They may not be as willing to work in the STEM fields or beyond the home in general.
    With all of this in mind, I do not want to sound like I am against stay-at-home moms or women making the choice to stay at home instead of going to work. I think that true feminism involves allowing women to choose whatever career makes them happy. If staying at home and baking cookies with their kids makes a woman happy, and she is in the financial position where she can do so, good for her. She should go for it and no one should stop her. Too often, I think we get dragged into thinking that stay at home moms are selling themselves short. However, from my experience, many I ask say the exact opposite. They love that they have been able to spend so much time with their children and help them grow up into mature adults and great members of our society.

    On the other hand, if a woman wants to work and is happy doing so, she should also have the same opportunity to work as a man does. In addition, I think that we need to encourage women to work in whatever career or profession that makes them happy, same applies to men. Whether that field is STEM, nursing, or watching the kids, if it makes them happy, then that is what we should encourage.

  10. Benjamin Jaros April 7, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

    Well, this article is disconcerting to say the least. We have another member of our society, who likes to act before even thinking about the consequences. Well, since Musk does not want to think about the philosophical implications for his actions, we will have to do the work for him: What will happen if we A) test these things on humans? B) Have an AI backup for our mind? C) Allow immortality through AI?
    A) What will happen if we test any kind of “roborat” or “roboroach” on human? First off, we will be crossing a serious ethical Rubicon. The use of humans for test subjects is unethical because it is an attack on the very dignity the tester claims to hold about themselves, even if one freely consents to the testing. Therefore, these things cannot ever be tested on humans. Rewriting our own code shows a fundamental misunderstanding about what it means to be human. Whether that code is in our DNA, or that code is an AI mesh in our brain, we will be changing part of the definition of what it means to be human: namely the characteristic of being. Humans “be.” We exist as we are. We look out on this universe in a unique way that no other creature does. To change that, or to test the changing of that is to change the very perspective that looks upon the universe both as it is and in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, we must never allow the testing of this technology on humans in any capacity.
    B) What will happen if we have an AI backup for mind?
    It could be argued that it would be useful to have a backup for our memory; I know that I often forget many things that I am scheduled to do or agree to do. In some way, our phone already is this kind of back-up memory device for us. However, an implanted memory device would be contrary to the life and dignity of the human person because it is forcing man to perform at a level beyond his natural capabilities. This “enhanced” man is everything but enhanced. For the very reason that this “man” does not know what it means to be man. While this understanding is a pursuit of life, part of it is knowing what we do not know. Which ironically, for many includes not knowing what it means to be “man.” However, we cannot “enhance” humanity in that fashion. The very term “enhance” creates an arrogance that condemns the “ordinary,” when humans are everything but ordinary.
    C) Finally, what will happen if we allow immortality through AI?
    We will have reduced humanity to a simple sum of our memories and our experiences. We will have eliminated the physical aspect of man, and in doing so, we will cease to be man. This AI will cease to make us mortal. We cannot be immortal, if we are not even living in the memory to begin with. Therefore, we cannot be immortal through AI, because the process undermines the mortality of man in the first place.

    • Benjamin Jaros April 7, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

      Ignore the previous post, it was meant for the Musk Article.

  11. Jiaqi Ma April 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

    The STEM is known as the shortage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It mainly focused on fields of the discrimination between men and women. Specifically, mostly observed in the females’ less-earned under the equal position than the males.
    Although the government has required the equality between girls and boys recently, the existence of this unfair phenomenon is undeniable. I still membered that in China in the last year of high school you have to choose a choice between liberal arts or science. Math, language, and English are a compulsory course. For liberal direction, you have to study geography, politics and Chinese history. In science, you have to learn physical, chemical and biological. There is a fallacy that girls cannot do better than boys in the direction of science. Depending on this article, this situation not only happened in China but also in America. Ana Maria Munoz-Bound said: “The proportion of women receiving engineering or computer science degrees in the United States actually fell between 2004 and 2014.” In 2013, only four countries in Europe could claim to have at least 15 percent of all STEM graduates be female. Furthermore, the author also mentioned that: “even when women manage to get a STEM degree they are less likely to work in that field.” Those revealed the reality of misunderstanding about women’s job. In my view, I thought that is a misunderstanding about the woman. It is hard to deny that some boys cannot do better than girls in science. In my high school, girls did well in the direction of science.
    The reasons that caused this situation are complicated. Ana Maria Munoz-Boudet concluded the reasons into three sources. Firstly, traditional thought should be blamed. No matter personal or the public, the only jobs for women is they should be a good mother and wife. The only thing they could do is take good care of her husband and babies. The family would put more expectation on the male members. As a result, fewer concerned, fewer educational opportunities for woman. Secondly, it is probable that there are too much unbeneficial statistics for the females to enter in the STEM fields. Therefore, they do not have enough confidence to compete with the males. Lastly, generally, people recognized that the females are more sensible than the males. Therefore, in some serious fields like science, sense dominants larger proportion, which is considered as one of the masculinities (born to possess). In addition, “Girls are rarely encouraged to study math or science, and often internalize beliefs that boys are simply better in these fields.” the same thoughts mentioned in this article. In my high school, before I chose the direction of science, I was told many times that you cannot win boys in this field. Boys have talent than girls.
    In there, I want to discuss the difference in treatment. Especially in STEM, not only because I am a girl, but also the females are facing unfair treatment in reality, which would affect their minds.
    As far as I am concerned, education is the fundamental way to solve this problem. I am not just talking about the degrees(bachelor, Master or Ph.D.), but also the parental education and social education. This society should establish the concept of girls who can play the same significant roles as the boys. They could make the same contribution to the social development. Once we could form the impression of this fairness, I believe the discrimination gap between women and men would be minimized than ever. I hope one day when Chinese girls chose their direction in high school, their parents will not say: No, you could not win boys in this field.

  12. Matt Talarico April 21, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    Stem cell research is becoming increasingly controversial and common because of its ability to reproduce organs. At the same time, if it is perfected, then it could save many lives. Although scientists know how to reproduce these types of organs or anything, the reaction to the body is very hard to predict and is still something that scientists are working on. If we can perfect this than a lot less injuries will happen because we will be able to replace damaged or broken organs. With 3D printers too, the ability to reproduce certain organs or anything needed is getting easier.

    When I was reading this article, honestly I could not take it seriously. The statistics she says are all skewed and most of them have nothing to do with stem cell research. It is no ones fault that less women are in the stem cell research field. She even says that more women are competing in higher education, so why aren’t they going into this field if they have the intellectual capacity. Just because they choose to not do something does not mean that it is an injustice. Less men are teachers, doesn’t mean it’s a problem. It just happens to be the nature of the genders and of the job that men tend to be less likely to be a teacher. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. If a woman wants to be a stem cell researcher, then she can be if she has the intellectual capacity, which the author claims is equal to men at a higher level.

    On the chart that she provides, I think that the chart reveals that the United States has a healthy balance. Obviously, construction jobs require more physical labor, so women naturally cannot be as competitive as men in this field can. But in the other fields, like education and other social services, there is a good competitive rate of women in the workforce. While people complain in the United States about women and equality, this chart shows that we are equal if not better than most countries in that category. Also, the statistic that women are paid 7/10 compared to men is false, and is propaganda.

  13. Ryan Appello April 21, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

    The gender gap. A source of some serious debate ever since it came into focus. In my opinion, there are so many factors that go into what people earn in income that it’s impossible to accurately place them into two distinct groups. The gender gap that many people refer to doesn’t exist in the way people may think. I’m not denying that women do earn less than men. I’m just disputing the reasons people usually give for this. Many people seem to blame men for this problem. And I can’t see why it’s only men’s fault. It’s everyones fault in the end. How can you blame men for making more money? That’s like telling them to not work hard. What truly is to blame is our society as a while. This is a generalization, but in many cases, women are coerced into jobs that are deemed O.K. for women. So, STEM fields, as the article talks about, are usually not seen as professions women should go in. Society is indirectly forcing women out of these fields because they simply just aren’t seen as women’s jobs.

    On the other hand, it is easy to just blame everyone for a problem and not actually identify a true reason for it. The article discusses the many challenges that women face, especially before pursuing a higher education. To me, the main blockade is a woman’s parents. No other people in your life has as much influence over you as your parents. Unfortunately, for some reason parents of young daughters usually don’t want them to aspire to go into a math or science field. It just doesn’t fit in to a woman’s culture.

    One thing that I completely disagree with in the article is when it mentions women have a lack of opportunity to get into these STEM fields. I simply don’t think it’s that simple. Nothing is stopping them from pursuing these careers besides themselves. If a person truly believes they should pursue something, they have every opportunity to do so.
    They way the article wraps up is the part I agree with the most. Getting more people into STEM fields should be the main priority of EVERYONE. Technology is taking over virtually every other field, so in order to maintain and grow the amount of people in the work force, we need to find other fields where jobs are still plentiful. This is a problem that transcends gender entirely. This is a human “problem”. If we do not get more people into the STEM field, more and more people will lose their jobs to robotics and other tech. This starts with education at the lowest levels and spans all the way to the highest forms of schooling. Every person must be prepared to be equipped with the skills needed to adapt to this changing economy. I understand the argument to get rid of whatever gap may exist, however, this can truly only be done without harm though the actions of women. So, instead of protesting in the streets which does virtually nothing for the movement, people should instead invest their resources into getting women into schools and jobs that they can ultimately benefit from.

  14. Caroline Massa April 27, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

    I read the article “Breaking the Stem Ceiling for Girls” with mixed reactions. I am pleased to see that the gender gaps have dramatically closed between men and women in education and the labor force. This is positive news, but not really surprising as women have made tremendous strides in attending college and gaining employment after graduation. However, to still see reports that have women getting paid less money for the same job as men, is very disappointing. This is discrimination and I do not really understand how this is happening in 2017. If two people are interviewing for the same job are companies offering a male a higher wage simply because he is a man? Is this favoritism occurring in all industries or in mainly male dominated fields? These questions are not addressed in this article but it seems that there must be people who are interested in finding out these answers. With the women’s march recently held in Washington and many smaller ones among towns throughout the United States, more people then ever are aware of the gaps that still exist between men and women. For me, the issue of pay is one of the most important inequities that must be corrected. There are many reasons that fairness of pay needs to be applied across the board and the first is that it is simply the need to be fair about compensation for doing the same job. Second, women are getting married later and some choosing not to at all. They must be able to support themselves just like a man would need to do. In addition, divorce is on the rise and women must be able to provide for themselves and their children. There is also a rise in the rate of women who decide to have a child without any father and they are solely responsible for their financial well being. Even when men are in the picture most families now need to have two incomes to be able to live comfortably. Women deserve to have equal pay for the same job and with more women in the workforce hopefully this will soon be another gender issue that is closed.
    Although the statistics in the article indicate that women still lag behind men in the STEM areas, this is not something that I believe is a gender problem. When I was younger I know that my friends and I were all encouraged to like these subjects and excel in them. No one said that they were subjects more suitable for boys or that we should not want to study them in college. In fact, I know that my own parents did everything they could to encourage my sisters and me to get good grades in all subjects. We were never given a pass because STEM is considered to be more male dominated fields of study. So, while my father graduated with a engineering degree and my mother an accounting degree I chose neither. I liked both math and science and at one time wanted to be a vet so I have had a lot of advanced science classes. No one ever suggested that I take different classes simply because I am female, but in the end it just was not for me. I do not believe that in the United States that generally girls are discouraged or treated differently in regard to STEM. Like me I think that girls just decide on their own that they prefer others areas of interest to study. So while this may result in more males in these areas of education and profession, if this is what women want then its fine with me. The bottom line is that women have to be able to make their own choices and whatever they decide their should be equality in pay.

  15. Melanie Boyea September 27, 2017 at 11:42 pm #

    It’s a shame that with all of the policies in place that in 2017 women are still being paid lower wages for doing the same job a man does. This is especially relevant in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields since only 35 % of undergraduate degrees earned in STEM are earned by women. Of those 35%, it is estimated that only 1 in 7 of those women will actually end up working in the STEM field that they earned their degree in.
    My old high school FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) Robotics team realized that this was a problem in the early 2000’s when the majority of the team was male and they wanted to change that. They developed a program called WISE, or Women In Science and Engineering which gives girls and young women the opportunity to explore STEM fields and network with women in various fields. Since then, the program has exploded and the team is currently partnering with Johnson & Johnson to reach 2 million girls and young women. The hope is to eventually have this program go worldwide with the help of other FIRST robotics teams around the world so that we can close the gap between women and men in STEM fields and careers.
    Other ways to reach girls at younger ages is to develop more in school programs that are STEM related and targeted at girls specifically. In high school I remember wanting to take a mechanical drawing class because I was very interested in it. When I arrived on the first day of school I was 1 of 2 girls in the class 0out of 30 students. This can be intimidating to young girls wanting to explore a new area of study and I firmly believe that it is a big deterrent. If schools had more programs that were aimed at girls and young women, the rate of undergraduate degrees in STEM would probably increase significantly from 35%. There are many small steps that can be taken at the town, county, state, federal and nation-wide to improve the ratio of women in STEM fields.

  16. Meghan Healy October 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    No matter how hard we try to achieve gender equality, gaps continue to persist in this day and age. Hopefully we will one day see a world in which men and women are completely and undeniably equable. With the progress we have made over the years, this seems that it could be a possibility. However, as of now, women continue to receive lower income and, in many countries, less education that men. As the article states, “as countries move forward with closing glaring gender differences, other gaps become visible.” The gap in the STEM area is one that refuses to budge.

    This gap could be an effect of the lack of encouragement girls tend to receive regarding interests in math and science. We live in a society where girls are indirectly taught from an early age that they should focus on their looks rather than their intelligence. Girls with an interest in these STEM subjects tend to lose that interest by the end of middle school or beginning of high school. Girls who receive better scores than boys in math and science on standardized tests in fourth grade do not score as higher in eighth grade. There are women that can probably perform STEM jobs better than most men, but they are degraded into believing that the job is not for them. As much as I liked math growing up, I never thought of pursuing a career in the STEM field. A career in engineering was barely even mentioned to me until I was in high school deciding on what major I wanted to study in college. Had my mom mentioned it in middle school, I might be studying engineering right now. This seems to happen to a lot of girls. The undergraduate population of The Stevens Institute of Technology, for example, is 70 percent male; the national average is about 60 percent.

    This article claims that there are not many female role models in the STEM field. There are plenty, they are just not given the recognition they deserve. There have been countless iconic female scientists and engineers that go unnoticed. For example, Tiera Guinn is still in college and is performing rocket science by helping to build one of the most biggest and powerful rockets for NASA. Marie Curie was the head of the physics lab at the Sorbonne in the 1900s. Mae Jemison was the first female African-American astronaut and the first African-American woman in space; she was also a doctor in the Peace Corps. There are plenty of great examples of women who have made history in the STEM field, we just do not read about them in our textbooks.
    Only 1 in 7 women in the United States with a degree in STEM work in that field. As the article states, “In the United States, for example, women earn only about 35 percent of the undergraduate degrees in STEM, a number that has remained unchanged for the past decade, even though they account for almost 60 percent of college graduates.” With the growing rate of technological innovation, we need more people to work on these new products. It seems simple to create a school environment that encourages girls to like math and science. A young person’s environment can shape what they like and who they become. Starting with the school system, gender equality could become a possibility. If schools and families encouraged their children’s interests, perhaps the gender gap in the STEM field would become nonexistent.

  17. Lucas Nieves-Violet October 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

    Growing up I didn’t know that there was an income gap difference between man and woman I thought all pay were equal no matter the gender. One day I found out that this was not the truth indeed and still to this day it doesn’t make much more sense why there is such a thing as a “gap”. I believe that both genders male and woman should have the same income and that as many doors should be opened to women as are for the male community. The article proves that in some cases before the eighth-grade women tend to score higher than the man on standardized test scores, so what changes after eighth grade?
    The only answer according to the article is that woman start to be limited. They begin to fit into stereotypes such as being a nurses or being told that the field is not mainly for them. Even if they do make it to there desired, STEM field as described by the article woman only form the minority of that area. Percentages show that there are more women graduating high school and that on a similar level women are the ones who constitute about 60% of college graduates, at this point some may wonder what the problem is ? Well, most importantly women only make 35% of the STEM field. The article goes in depth explaining that “statistic hides differences across STEM fields, with women earning about 40 percent of the degrees in mathematics, but only 18 percent of those in computer sciences or engineering.” ( Munoz-Boudet, Revenga). As shown in the article the graph picture shows a significant decrease in a woman working in the STEM field which is by far dominated by men.
    To answer to this decrease, the article indicates one aspiration is mostly directed by social norms and parental expectations. This is primarily true still do this day it is common to see women being told what they can and cannot do. In fact not to long ago I remember seeing an article explaining why there weren’t as many woman CEO and why women who do tend to be lonely. The answer is because if woman CEO are successful,many studies studies have shown that it is then more likely that they will not have kids. Women who work tremendously in their professional life have less time to reproduce, unlike man who can do both. The burden is then on the woman to look for someone to reproduce with and even then if the woman does find someone, time off needs to be taken and believe it or not, most successful woman are continually working and a couple of months apart for maternity leave will harm their professional advancement. Having kids will also mean that the woman will have to spend more time or tend to have a close relationship at home more attached to her kids than work.
    Number two is described as information failure which means that since women only make a small percentage of the STEM field, it becomes harder for them to first enter the area because of the lack of connections but secondly to stay in it if they are not favored in the first place. This then again leads to the income gap between man and woman. Since the woman in the very field are scarce and only make up a small percentage of the STEM field, they are likely to get paid lower salaries than Man..
    The last point is an excellent point being made. At the beginning of the article, it is indicated that 60% of the degrees being given out for graduate schools are to woman however STEM field requires a good education and excellent math skills as well. The research in the article describes woman’s test score plummet after the eighth grade therefore regardless of how many women are awarded a graduates degree; STEM field requires them to be extremely smart and to additionally have an excellent if not superior education.

  18. Jeet Desai October 21, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

    I agree that though countries have dramatically closed gender gaps in education and labor force participation, gender differences within education and employment persist but this world still contains a gender gap in the workplace, income rate. This article stated that in the education women score higher grade than men and shown more promising in work and they thinking yet women do not get equal pay and position on their work.
    STEM ( science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) that stated in this article says that the women participating in this STEM area are not being paid well and remain as a minority in this region. The graph is shown of World Bank Education Statistics based on UNESCO Institute for Statistics shows that how the women from the countries that are been described, women probably go more into the education stream rather than in IT, science, engineering. Women should have the same opportunities as men to choose to pursue and succeed in a STEM career instead of only in education.
    Breaking the STEM ceiling is possible if we focus on 3 things that article have discussed they are: Aspiration, Information failure, and institutional factors. Indeed there were no changes in decades on the gender gap in the career success but there might be possible by changes in our thinking and behavior, the STEM can be demolished.

  19. Y Moon June 8, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

    Throughout history, women had to fight for all the rights that men had. For example, women fought for the right to own land/businesses and for the right to vote. As women, we have to constantly prove ourselves and that we can get the job done just like (or better) than our male coworkers. From a young age, there are social norms that are engrained into us as to what a woman’s career should be and what a man’s career should be. It is taught that a woman should have a more “feminine” jobs and a man should have a more “masculine” job. These ingrained social norms make it difficult for young women to aspire to become engineers or mathematicians. The STEM world is dominated by men and there are only a few women role models for the future female generation.
    While recently many more young women are pursuing STEM careers, we still only make up a small number in these fields. I agree with the article when it says that in order to change solutions can start with having more role models available for girls to see that they can also pursue a career in STEM fields. Giving teachers and parents information about STEM fields and raising awareness of the fields and how it is a future that is available to both males and females alike. STEM field careers are careers that generally pay more and are more prestigious than the “usual” female occupations. If more women enter STEM fields than that would help women in economic prospects and the influx of women in the fields can also help close the pay gap in STEM field careers. There are more women graduating with higher education than men, we should embrace this fact and encourage our future girls to explore into STEM fields. I believe that if there are more role models for the future generation, more girls will be willing to break stigmas and study fields that are male dominated.

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