Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gender barriers, not families, to blame for shortage of women in science, technology, engineering and math careers

Date:
October 7, 2013
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Researchers have published a new study examining the factors behind the shortage of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. They find no evidence that women are opting out of the STEM workforce to start families, in contrast to the widespread perception that family factors account for the lack of women in STEM-related careers.

Researchers at the University of Texas-Austin and Cornell University have published a new study examining the factors behind the shortage of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. They find no evidence that women are opting out of the STEM workforce to start families, in contrast to the widespread perception that family factors account for the lack of women in STEM-related careers.

Co-author Sharon Sassler, professor in the department of policy analysis and management at Cornell, says: "We don't find support for the idea that women are opting out of the labor force to remain home with children, as relatively few departed from the work force completely. Of note is that family factors -- such as having one's first child, or having additional children -- cannot account for the differential loss of STEM workers compared to other professional workers, because exits from the STEM work force tend to occur before women have begun their marital and childbearing histories.

"What seems to differentiate the two groups of women are investments and job rewards. While in other professions pursuing an advanced degree and viewing one's job as rewarding tend to increase retention, such investments made by women in STEM do not seem to stimulate commitment to STEM in the same way.

"Gender barriers are hindering women from entering into STEM jobs, and even among those women persistent enough to enter the STEM labor force, transitions out of STEM jobs transpire relatively early on in their careers. There is a lot of discussion about solving America's shortage of STEM workers, most of it focused on the need to increase supply. But our work indicates that a substantial proportion of women who are trained in STEM, and begin working in STEM jobs, rapidly exit such jobs. Additional attention is needed to the field of STEM itself to better understand why so many of the highly skilled workers trained -- at great expense -- for these fields are exiting."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. L. Glass, S. Sassler, Y. Levitte, K. M. Michelmore. What's So Special about STEM? A Comparison of Women's Retention in STEM and Professional Occupations. Social Forces, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/sf/sot092

Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Gender barriers, not families, to blame for shortage of women in science, technology, engineering and math careers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007151635.htm>.
Cornell University. (2013, October 7). Gender barriers, not families, to blame for shortage of women in science, technology, engineering and math careers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007151635.htm
Cornell University. "Gender barriers, not families, to blame for shortage of women in science, technology, engineering and math careers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007151635.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins