Women in Computer Science
By all credible accounts, there is an acute shortage of females in four key areas of science. Known collectively as “STEM,” these disciplines include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — all of which have historically been male-dominated.
In studies conducted in the United States, as listed in the infographic created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, it was found that:
- Women comprise 50% of the population and 49% of the total U.S. workforce, but hold only 24% of all STEM positions
- In 2009, a total of 2.5 million employed college-educated women working in STEM fields in stark contrast to 6.7 million men with college educations
- A STEM-employed woman makes 86 cents for every dollar that her average STEM-employed male colleague earns
- Female STEM majors were twice as likely to be employed in healthcare and education after graduation than male STEM majors
Many have posited almost as many theories about the “whys” of the above-listed phenomena. At least one study has concluded that the accurate answer to this enigmatic query is abundantly — and painfully — clear: stereotypes.
What’s most worrisome is that negative stereotypical attitudes are often developed early in young American girls and boys alike. In a controlled social experiment conducted, a group of middle school girls scored poorly on Visual-Spatial abilities tests when testers gave them no information at all or told them that boys were better than girls was at performing test-related tasks. Conversely, girls lead to believe that no gender-based differences exist for tested aptitudes scored significantly higher.
To learn more about female stereotypes in science take a look at the infographic below, created by the Online Master of Science in Computer Science.
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