Presentation Title

The Causes and Effects of Gender Disparity in Academic Majors: Does Society Have a Say in Our Careers?

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented April 1, 2017

Location

IB 1010

Start Date

1-4-2017 4:30 PM

End Date

1-4-2017 4:45 PM

Abstract

This paper takes a sociological, in-depth look at contributing factors leading to women’s absence from male-dominated academic majors. It will argue that the lack of communication skills utilized in fields such as the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), in combination with the stigma of traditional gender roles, and lack of self-confidence are the most important factors contributing to women not entering male-dominated careers. Both qualitative and quantitative data have affirmed that the scientific fields can often be perceived by women as non-communicative and unable to fulfill communal goals. Sociologists identify gender roles and societal norms as possible deterrents for women selecting male-dominated career paths. In addition, women lacking the confidence to compete with men in traditionally male academic majors can be deterred from joining them. Recent data from Stats Can show men are more likely to enter STEM careers than women. By understanding the factors leading to the underrepresentation of women in STEM careers, we can begin to help mitigate the issue and reduce this gender disparity.

Department

English and Modern Languages

Faculty Advisor

Ginny Ratsoy

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Apr 1st, 4:30 PM Apr 1st, 4:45 PM

The Causes and Effects of Gender Disparity in Academic Majors: Does Society Have a Say in Our Careers?

IB 1010

This paper takes a sociological, in-depth look at contributing factors leading to women’s absence from male-dominated academic majors. It will argue that the lack of communication skills utilized in fields such as the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), in combination with the stigma of traditional gender roles, and lack of self-confidence are the most important factors contributing to women not entering male-dominated careers. Both qualitative and quantitative data have affirmed that the scientific fields can often be perceived by women as non-communicative and unable to fulfill communal goals. Sociologists identify gender roles and societal norms as possible deterrents for women selecting male-dominated career paths. In addition, women lacking the confidence to compete with men in traditionally male academic majors can be deterred from joining them. Recent data from Stats Can show men are more likely to enter STEM careers than women. By understanding the factors leading to the underrepresentation of women in STEM careers, we can begin to help mitigate the issue and reduce this gender disparity.