All posts filed under: Girls In STEM

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Six Superb STEMinists You Need to Meet

When I think of famous women in STEM, Marie Curie immediately comes to mind, but I can’t think of too many after that. For a girl to succeed in STEM fields, she needs support and she needs role models. These six women are currently working in STEM fields ranging from outer-space to the science lab and even into the White House. “Environmental challenges have the power to deny equality of opportunity and hold back the progress of communities.”– Lisa P. Jackson Lisa P. Jackson is a chemical engineer who has devoted her life to protecting the environment as both a woman in STEM and politics. She worked at the EPA for sixteen years before joining the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and worked on land management rights. She became the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for New Jersey and focused on making sure generally ignored and disenfranchised communities had access to pollutant free air. And she reached out to multicultural communities to educate, inform and involve them in her environmental efforts. She was the head …

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A Smart Thing To Do: Data on Women in Higher Education & STEM

“When we talk about improving women’s lives, education is an issue that comes up over and over again as an equalizer, because when women and girls have access to an education, they can accomplish anything.” – United State of Women But do all forms of education create equity where gender disparities are greatest? Although we need to work toward improving women’s and girls’ access to education on all levels, real disparities deepen in secondary and higher education environments around the world. Significant progress has been made as 2/3 of developing nations have achieved gender parity when it comes to access to primary education. Despite significant progress made on girls’ school enrollment in the past decade, 32 million girls of lower secondary school age were out of school in developing countries. The situation is worst for the poorest rural girls in South and West Asia: only 13% complete lower secondary school. If we agree with UNICEF that educating girls is “both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives,” then advocating for a higher output …

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Letter to A Young Girl

This letter is written by a young woman to her earlier self whose career is about to take a huge transformation. In this letter, she reflects on which characteristics and attitudes she wishes to retain and what she hopes to accomplish as she progresses forward to achieving her medical dreams. She also hopes that it will inspire other girls to go confidently as they pursue their scientific careers. Dear Me, I hope you’re well. I cannot tell you what you will encounter in the next four years, the people who will change your life, the experiences that will leave an ingrained memory in your brain. A lot of questions flood my mind as I think about the journey you will go through: Do you still keep your sense of poetry? Your creative writing? Does the idea of taking care of another human being terrify you? Do you still give humorous lectures of how things work in the molecular world? Do you still only eat fish and vegetables just to keep your mental faculties sane? (Please do relax sometimes! And …

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Why We Should Talk about Gender Bias and Sexual Harassment in Medical Training

Gender bias and sexual harassment continue to be prevalent issues among medical trainees and practicing physicians. In order to help aspiring female doctors fulfill their career goals, we need to address these issues. Gender bias is a prevalent issue in the workplace today. However, when it comes to medicine, it seems as if a significant amount remains to be resolved. In a 2000 study, among 3,332 full-time faculty, female faculty were 2.5 times more likely to perceive discrimination in the workplace. Among women, rates of reported discrimination ranged from 47% for the youngest faculty to 70% for the oldest faculty. In contrast, less than 3% of male faculty reported such experiences. In addition, in a 2009 study, during the interviews with 12 third-year female medical students, many of them found themselves behaving in stereotypically ‘feminine’ ways and had gendered expectations when interacting with supervisors. Unfortunately, many of these cases of gender discrimination remain unreported as aspiring female physicians may be concerned with the possibility that these cases will affect their careers. In addition, many of them have …

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The Nobel Prize: A Mostly-Men’s Club?

Since the 1970s, the number of women among Nobel Prize winners remains low. This issue brings to light the gender disparity surrounding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and the need for encouraging young women to pursue their scientific dreams. The Nobel Prize has long been recognized as the most prestigious award available in the fields of literature, medicine, chemistry, physics, peace and economics, and has been awarded to 874 laureates and 26 organizations between 1901 and 2015. Yet, out of these numbers, the prize has only been awarded to 49 women. What is keeping women from earning the recognition they deserve in these fields? According to Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, author of ” Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles and Momentous Discoveries,” “anti-nepotism laws in the U.S. actively prevented women from working at the same universities where their husbands worked until 1971.” In addition, according to Robert Marc Friedman, historian from the University of Oslo, “women faced barriers to entering higher education, especially at elite institutions that offered the resources to do the cutting-edge science …

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Women in Academic Medicine and Science: Trends and Advice on Moving Forward

Despite efforts to recruit more women in the sciences, a stark gender disparity still exists. Not only does this issue prevent academic centers from retaining a talented and diverse population that could help them enhance their mission, it hinders women from carrying out their full potential. 37 years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the Women in Science and Technology Opportunity Act, which “declares it the policy of the United States that men and women have equal opportunity in education, training and employment in scientific and technical fields.” Although major advances have been made to achieve this goal, academic institutions are still not fully using this talented population to enhance their mission. A 2012 study published by Moss-Racusin and collegues at Yale attempted to experimentally demonstrate whether there exists a gender bias against female students in academic medicine. By giving science faculty from academic centers application materials of a student applying for a laboratory manager position that was randomly assigned a male or female name, they discovered that male applicants were rated significantly more competent and …