Gender Disparities in STEM

Cultural Stigma and Norms

  • In the 1980s, computers were predominantly seen as toys and gaming for boys, perpetuating a cultural stigma that still persists today. (Annabi & Lebovitz, 2018)
  • In 2018, there were more male CEOs named James than there were women CEOs in the STEM industry. (Bloomberg, 2023; McCullough, 2018)
  • Despite progress, only 16% of women pursuing higher education focus on STEM fields, and 18.1% of women in tech hold leadership roles. (Del Carpio & Guadalupe, 2022; White, 2021)

Educational Disparities

  • While 60% of bachelor’s degrees in biology are earned by women, only 19% of bachelor’s degrees in computer studies are awarded to women. (McCullough, 2019)

Mentorship Challenges

  • Gender microaggressions, including sexist humor and derogatory language, hinder women's experiences in STEM fields. (Yang & Carroll, 2018)
  • Culturally inept mentorship limits women's advancement to leadership positions in STEM education. (Barbarino et al., 2020)

Gender and Workforce Challenges

Partner Support

  • Despite the need for support, 80% of women rely on partners for social support, but 89% are discouraged by partners. (Boykin, 2023; Brue, 2019)

Sexual Harassment

  • Women in STEM face gender discrimination, stereotyping, tokenism, and sexual harassment in the workplace. (Cidre, 2021; Chau & Quire, 2017; Gipson et al., 2017)

Work-Life Balance

  • Work-life balance has decreased by 38% since COVID, with 85% of women completing domestic chores during breaks. (Boykin, 2023; Hupfer et al., 2022)

Ambition and Career Progression

  • Over 95% of women are told to be both more and less assertive, impacting their career advancement. (Boykin, 2023)
  • Despite ambitions, 100% of women pass on promotions or better job opportunities. (Boykin, 2023)

Pregnancy and Career

  • After their first child, 43% of new mothers leave their full-time technology jobs. (Cech & Blair-Loy, 2019)

Safety Concerns

  • Speech recognition systems and airbags are designed with biases that affect women's safety. (Bajorek, 2019; Barry, 2019)

Intersectionality in Gender Equality

  • Gender equality often prioritizes white women, neglecting the unique challenges faced by women of color in the workplace. (Boykin, 2023)
  • The intersectional marginalization of women of color must be addressed, and efforts should be made to ensure fair pay and representation across all demographics. (Boykin, 2023)