Published On: Tue, Jun 9th, 2015

There Are 5 Biases Pushing Women Out of STEM Fields

This according to a new study in the Harvard Business Review.

women stem

A new study by Joan C. Williams, Kathrine W. Phillips and Erika V. Hall published in the Harvard Business Review sited 5 reasons why women do not pursue careers in the fields of STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

We have all heard by now about the lack of diversity in the high tech sector as well as any profession related to engineering. Woman are barely noticeable in these fields and when they do have high profile positions with high tech companies it is always in public relations or marketing, not science.

Many people, however, have pointed out that this is not due to discrimination, but a lack of desire on the part of young women to pursue these fields of work.

But the study’s authors have shown different reasons entirely. They interviewed 60 female scientists and surveyed 557 female scientists and found the following five causes for a lack of women in the fields of STEM: having to prove themselves in their jobs over and over again just because they are women; having to walk a tightrope between their femininity and their careers; having to choose between motherhood and their jobs; a tug of war with women co-workers; feeling isolated at work.


The study also showed that minority women have it doubly hard. They reported that employers and college professors alike would make offensive ethnic comments to them without a second thought.

See the full report here.

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