Women Missing in STEM Careers: A Critical Review through the Gender Lens

Abstract: Although the number of female science students has increased at secondary level in many countries since 1990, this has not translated into pursuing a STEM education at tertiary level and not even into STEM jobs. It is thus important to analyze this issue of female participation in STEM disciplines, since their inclusion would empower them by improving the economy, health, and infrastructure worldwide and help to fight poverty internationally with technological and scientific interventions. This narrative review article aims to analyze the reasons behind female underrepresentation in STEM careers using the “feminist research methodological” approach. Underlying the conceptualization of gendering science, two specific concepts, gender role and empowerment, have been used. Here I have analyzed the educational, attitudinal, socio-cultural, and socio-economic aspects of why there are so few women in STEM careers. This analysis introduces some important concerns that can be focused on during policy implication to ensure gender equality in STEM careers.  This article highlights the socialization process of young students (especially girls), who are expected to perform their stereotyped gender roles consciously or subconsciously both in the family and educational settings. These gendered ideologies are clearly interlinked to the career they become interested or influenced in. The analysis reflects and recommends that subject domains and job sectors should be gender neutral where life experiences and interests of individuals should be emphasized. Such important concerns raised in this article would help educators in policy implication to ensure gender equality in STEM careers.

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Download: 26, size: 931.8 KB, date: 20.Apr.2019