Discrimination Against Women in Science (Redux)
I have spoken several times about the discrimination against women in science, but recently several reports have come out which prompted comment on my part again (AAAS, and a members only story in PRISM COVER STORY: Why Won’t She Listen? JUST WHEN WOMEN START TO MAKE THEIR MARK AS ENGINEERING EDUCATORS, YOUNG FEMALE STUDENTS ARE TUNING THEM OUT. - BY MARGARET LOFTUS).
So once again we are asked what is the bias against women in STEM, and why don't women want to study in STEM areas?
From my personal experience I can offer these insights.
- My guidance counselor didn't want me to take two science classes my senior year because it was considered too "hard."
- She also didn't want me to apply to MIT, because my chances of getting in were low.
- About 75% of the time I win a research award, at least one person congratulating me mentions that it is because I am a woman.
- As a caucasian woman, I am always a minority at a conference, seminar, etc.
- Colleagues/peers have commented on my attractiveness and intelligence in the same sentence more than once. (Does this happen to men?)
- I could make at least 1.5 times as much money in industry for shorter, more regular hours with less travel.