What Is Gender Gap In STEM

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In the United States, more women are enrolled in college than men (Joy Gaston Gayles, Frim D. Ampaw 19). However, studies have shown women to be underrepresented in many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educational fields and occupations. During recent years, the question of why this gender gap exist in STEM fields has become recognized by the nation. Due to this grown interest, there have been many studies conducted showing gender differences within these fields. Leading to the realization, that gender gaps exists in STEM fields due to social, economic, and cultural factors in these fields and a solution needs to occur to address this issue.
The United States government have enacted policies to endorse STEM fields in order
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Along the way, leakages which can affect one’s journey in obtaining a career in STEM (Joy Gaston Gayles, Frim Ampaw 441). A leak in the pipeline can occur “when an individual who was initially interested in STEM fields but then decides to select a different major upon entering college” (Joy Gaston Gayles, Frim Ampaw 441). Another leak that is reflected is when an “individual begins college with a STEM major but then decides to switch to another non-STEM major before graduation” (Joy Gaston Gayles, Frim Ampaw 441). Finally, the last leak is “when an individual who has completed a degree in STEM but has choose to work in a non-STEM field of study” (Joy Gaston Gayles, Frim Ampaw 441). These leaks are more distinct for women and underrepresented minorities (Joy Gaston Gayles, Frim Ampaw 441). “Women and underrepresented minorities tend to leak out of the STEM pipeline at a much higher rate than their counterparts” (Joy Gaston Gayles, Frim Ampaw 441). This phenomenon tries to demonstrate how college students particularly women tend to “leak” out of the STEM field. Although the leaky pipeline metaphor is widely used, Xie and Shulman have suggested that understanding erosion in STEM using the pipeline perspective is that it is…show more content…
Stating that cultural bias have an effect on a woman’s self-confidence, self-efficacy, and persistence (Litzler, Samuelson, Lorah 813 ). The cultural bias exists in the fact that “male faculty and peers may perceive women pursuing these professions as unfit simply because they deviate from the conventional image” (Litzler, Samuelson, Lorah 813-814). Therefore, women have to prove themselves against gender expectation in the male dominated STEM field. Due to the gender expectation, women tend to underestimate their abilities in math and science and this affects their confidence and self-efficacy perceptions (Litzler, Samuelson, Lorah 814). Also, women tend to compare themselves unfavorably to male peers and judge themselves more and this leads them to express lower levels of confidence than men (Litzler, Samuelson, Lorah 814). These varying confidence levels lead to different rates of persistence within the field (Litzler, Samuelson, Lorah 814). According to Brainard and Carlin, “female students often cite self-confidence as a reason for their decision to abandon engineering”(qdt, Litzler, Samuelson, Lorah 813). Women have to deal with a cultural bias that men are more successful in this field and this typically can influence a women’s confidence; if a woman is constantly told that she will not be as successful, she will eventually believe it herself. “In

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