The Truth about the STEM Gender Gap

As advocates for women in STEM we here at the Connecticut Technology Council are progressively seeking to inspire women and girls to nurture their passions for the sciences. While it’s easy to blame social pressure and cultural expectations for scaring women away from STEM fields, a new study shows that the only thing keeping women from the sciences is themselves. Capture

According to a national hiring experiment conducted by professors at Cornell University, the sexist nature of faculty hiring in STEM is officially a thing of the past. “National hiring audits, some dating back to the 1980s, reveal that female scientists have had a significantly higher chance of being interviewed and hired than men.” While this affords STEM aspiring females a sigh of relief one should wonder why women are more likely to be hired over equally qualified male applicants. “The typical explanation for this seeming contradiction has been that the women who survived the intense sexism and winnowing process of graduate training were (perceived) as unusually talented, and thus deserved to be hired at a higher rate than men.”

Equally surprising is that female-favoring has proved true regardless of the sex of the interviewee. As if things didn’t already looked bleak for men, divorced women with children were almost always favored over men who were also divorced with dependents. As a rule, women scientists, engineers, mathematicians, teachers and tech gurus have a solid 2-1 advantage over men.

While girls continue to shy from STEM studies where “swimming up-stream” is culturally un-feminine, at least they no longer have to worry about job demand or security. When their only competition is self-doubt nothing short of other women can stand in their way of achieving successful careers.

Read more about this study here.

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