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The challenge of gender bias: experiences of women pursuing careers in STEM

A look at the difficulties and biases women in STEM careers face written by the freshmen Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) LLC cohort on the topic of women in STEM


By: Nayeli Stopani Barrios, Jessica Becker, Elise Murphy and Larissa Sanches | April 08, 2022


Women pursuing STEM careers have faced many challenges in the past, and they continue to do so today. In the past, many of these challenges were built into the framework of our public and private institutions and our legal system. Women, for example, were not allowed to attend college and earn a college education until 1840, when Catherine Brewer was the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree. Gaining a graduate degree wasn’t possible until 1849, when Elizabeth Blackwell earned her medical degree (U.S. News, 2009). Without access to higher education, women had no chance of gaining enough experience and expertise to secure a job of any significance, let alone a career in STEM.

Barriers limiting women’s access to higher education were not eliminated in the mid 1800s with the brave actions of Brewer and Blackwell. The historical prejudices that denied women access to higher education in that century are present today in the minds of many who serve as members of college admissions committees and hiring authorities. According to a study conducted by researchers at Yale University, when provided with identical application materials across all applicants, both male and female faculty rated the male applicants more competent and more employable than female applicants (Moss-Racusin, Dovidio, Brescoll, Handelsman, 2012). Despite holding comparable levels of experience or knowledge, men are consistently chosen over women.

To read the full article: https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/blogs/2022/the-challenge-of-gender-bias-in-pursuing-stem-careers




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