Women in Science and Engineering

Published: 2021-07-06 06:41:41
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IntroductionA 2010 research report provides detailed, compelling evidence on why there exist few women in science and engineering. In this era, women are becoming increasingly prominent in other fields such as medicine and law. Therefore, women are not equally represented over the past approximately one hundred and fifty years’ period of time. The research presents some in-depth key findings that point different environmental and social factors that act as a barrier to women becoming scientists and engineers (Brush 1991).Stereotypical issues and implicit biasThere arise some stereotypical issues that threaten to evaluate the performance of female students taking mathematics and science tests. Many people claim that they believe that boys and women are good in science and math than girls and women (Oaks 1990). These gender beliefs become more powerful leading to gender bias in the performance of girls in these subjects. Gender stereotyping and gender bias among people across all races and ethnicities has led to few women becoming scientist and engineers. This is because both women and men believe that only men are capable of performing exemplarily in both science and math.Growth and fixed mindsetOver the years when negative stereotypes persist about girls’ abilities, they might tend to have a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is more likely to make women lose confidence and disentangle themselves from science and technology whey they continuously encounter difficulties in math and science. Encountering obstacles and problems are inevitable because that’s the nature of science coursework.Recruitment and retention of women in scienceResearcher Allan Fisher emphasizes on departments paying full attention to girls’ experience. In most cases, faculties do not diversify which leads to less recruitment and retention of female students.CompetitionResearch shows that women are less aggressive than men in different technical fields. This notion makes women disengage from their desires to continue through a carrier in science and engineering at the academic level. Women get more discouraged when constant competition is the sole determinant of a successful scientific career making men who are more competitive to succeed in the sciences.MarginalizationThe few women who find themselves in a faculty position find themselves frequently underpaid in comparison to their male counterparts. In almost all cultures female scientist receives few awards, less financing, and few resources. For example, according to statistics at American Institute of physics, women software developers can earn 20% in comparison to 80% than men earn (Oaks 1990).ChildcareAccording to research, the few women who become scientists leave early in their carriers due to lack of maternity leave to care for the kids. They face childcare obstacles in reaching their career goalsLack of encouragement and teasing at schoolGirls who see opportunities for themselves in science and engineering are often ridiculed in schools. Moreover, they lack encouragement from their parents and teachers to pursue their dreams science careers.Effects of social norm and legal systemA contemporary society needs technology for livelihood improvement and development in other keys areas. According to research statistics exposed by Blasdell,44% of women in the workforce only 13 percent are in science and engineering careers. This shows a clear marked underrepresentation of female in these programs. Recruitment of female students in science and engineering can reduce the gap through availing significant resources in these fields. However, there are barriers which impede this effort to advance women in these careers (Brush 1991).Social norms, culture, and legal systems are the most significant barriers that discourage women to join male-dominated careers. Different traditions, values and, system have shaped the stereotypes in science fields. The legal systems, and cultural become unsuitable for women in a learning environment (Oaks 1990). The societal norms indicate that women are the fundamental caretakers of the families and cannot succeed as mothers in such professions. Women who take science and engineering are associated with a lack of feminine ability in their communities. This acts as a barrier factor that prevents their development in the fields due to their gender identity. Societal norms that are set by the male are more competitive than the collaborative approach of the female counterparts.In some countries, legal systems have made women disadvantaged to be included in science programs. There exist discriminatory laws in university institutions that discourage women from pursuing graduate degrees in science degrees. Some universities offer differential entry points for women making them lag behind in science and technology development (Oaks 1990).The kind of science jobs women likely to be found inThere are other science and engineering fields that several women dominate even though few are found in such professions. The kind of science jobs that are they are likely to be found in a nursing profession. Nursing attracts a sizeable amount of female people. Female nurses have both feminine and professional values to support, care and interact with patients more freely in hospitals. Men do not dominate this field because of the negative attitude of men joining the profession.The overall academic performance of female students in science and engineeringOver the years, academic performance of women in these fields has remained significantly low. According to research 40 percent of students who joined university faculty of science in 2010 in the USA, only 11% were women. This shows that female students perform poorly in science than the male students. Their achievement continues to lower down even after joining high institutions (Oaks 1990). Lack of confidence in their ability to balance studies and family is one of the factors that influence the deteriorating performance of women. Those in undergraduate classes feel isolated and resented by the male students while those with high levels of confidence gain negative responses from professors and classmates. Sociologists indicate that female students elicit low self-esteem in science fields than their male counterparts (Bebbington 2002).In this case, female students recede to gender roles and end up not pursuing alternative options to improve their careers. This affects their academic achievement due to an uncomfortable learning environment. This explains the high dropout cases in science and engineering programsComparing women in science to men regarding salary and compensationAlthough there has been a continuous fight for women equality in all careers, there exists a huge disparity between the salaries and compensations that women employees earn. There still exists a high disparity in terms of salaries in science and engineering (Ash et al,2004). Gender differences regarding compensations for jobs in these fields leave women to leave the profession. Different economists have come up with varying reasons to offer competing explanations for the difference in salaries.Childcare is seen to be directly related to salaries and compensation for women when they decide to take-off duty period to care for their kids. According to statistics, in 1999, women scientist and engineers earned a 22 percent salary than men on the same field. However, over the years it is clear that this salary gap is tremendously closing (Ash et al,2004). This is because of factors such as campaigns on equality between men and women in the workforce. Also, stereotypical threats and work discrimination of women are slowly decreasing making these fields to become more cross-gender.Status of women in science from culture to cultureIn all dimensions’ science is part of the culture. Research indicates that there exists a huge disparity in how women in science are upheld from culture to culture. These disparities are more visible to those communities that have stuck to their traditions and values over the years. Among the black communities, gender roles are seriously upheld (Bebbington 2002). This shows that women are given the responsibility to take care of the family especially kid while men are expected to provide basic needs to the family. This is done for the female species to maintain their feminist values in the society. This cultural stereotyping has led to liberation of few women and as a result, a few black women manage to become scientists and engineers. This is because in these societies women who take upon these causes are viewed with a negative attitude by all other people.However, among the western cultures, there are lower strict cultural norms making women be allowed to take up courses and careers that are male-dominated (Bebbington 2002). The government have come up with strategies and amended a constitution that enables gender equity and discourages anti-discriminatory laws in science and engineering universities. According to research done by the United Nations, the Asian people record the highest number of female students who go to science and engineering profession. This is a great improvement because women have the ability and capability to succeed in these fields.Strategies recommendedWomen going for science and technology professions have a wide range of opportunities in various countries regardless of the difficulties they face in these fields. For example, the United States government have ensured to put more efforts in having women accepted in these fields. The entry points for female students to enter higher learning institutions is now lower than the entry standards for their male counterparts (Hill et al,2010). This affirmative action has led to the increment of a sizeable number of women to take up math and science courses. Also, governmental and non-governmental organizations participate in campaigns and training centers to improve the number of girls pursuing science and engineering programs. The following strategies are recommended to advance women in these fields.Plan a favorable and flexible family care spendingThe government should ensure gender grantees are allowed so that women can use part of these funds for childcare and family miscellaneous expenses. This approach will make them focus on career development and participate in developmental issues in the country (Hill et al,2010).Focus on educationHigher learning institutions should educate students on the problems women face in science and engineering. For instance, this can be done through gender awareness, training and carrying out workshop programsInvolve implicit bias statementsStatements that show the idea of implicit bias to reviewers should be included to ensure high commitment levels, equality, and their diversity in those careers.Provide extra awards in schoolsGirls who excel diligently in math and science coursework should be awarded by the school so that they can be motivated and encouraged to have passion in becoming scientists and engineersExpansion of searchable databases Existing databases needs to be made so that women in these fields can be identified for positions that are important for professional development.College environment that supports female students in these fields should be created for them to be actively included in science and engineering majors. Also, culture, societal norms, and some oppressive legal systems should be redefined in order for them to favor a higher number of women to get in these fields. This will reduce the competitiveness and decrease in intimidation for women.ConclusionThe inclusion of women to join science and engineering programs should be promoted. This initiative will lead to high growth of creativity and innovation. Through engineering, technology will develop the world making it a better place (Hill et al,2010). This can only be done by encouraging women. Therefore, in spite of challenges that exist in these fields there is a variety of opportunities for women in science and engineering profession.ReferencesBrush, S. G. (1991). Women in science and engineering. American Scientist, 79(5), 404-419.Hill, C., Corbett, C., & St Rose, A. (2010). Why so few? Women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. American Association of University Women. 1111 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.Friedman, L. M. (1975). The legal system: A social science perspective. Russell Sage Foundation.Bebbington, D. (2002). Women in science, engineering and technology: A review of the issues. Higher Education Quarterly, 56(4), 360-375.Ash, A. S., Carr, P. L., Goldstein, R., & Friedman, R. H. (2004). Compensation and advancement of women in academic medicine: is there equity?. Annals of internal medicine, 141(3), 205-212.Oakes, J. (1990). Chapter 3: Opportunities, achievement, and choice: women and minority students in science and mathematics. Review of research in education, 16(1), 153-222.

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