Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fewer Women Pursue Jobs in Science Because They Have More Career Options

20.03.2013
Pitt study shows women are less likely to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) because of higher verbal scores
Women may be less likely to pursue careers in science—not because they have less ability—but because they have more career choices, according to a University of Pittsburgh study published today in Psychological Science.

Although the gender gap in mathematics has narrowed in recent decades between males and females, women are still less likely to pursue STEM careers than their male counterparts. Together with colleagues at the University of Michigan, the Pitt research team investigated whether differences in overall patterns of math and verbal ability might play a role.

“Our study suggests that it’s not lack of ability or differences in ability that orients females to pursue non-STEM careers but, because they’re good at both, they can consider a wide range of occupations,” said Ming-Te Wang, principal investigator of the study and assistant professor of psychology in education within Pitt’s School of Education.

Wang and his colleagues examined data from 1,490 college-bound U.S. students drawn from a national longitudinal study. The students were surveyed in 12th grade and again when they were 33 years old. The survey highlighted data on several factors including participants’ SAT scores, their motivational beliefs and values, and their occupations at age 33.

“We found that students who also had high verbal abilities—a group that contained more women than men—were less likely to have chosen a STEM occupation than those who had moderate verbal abilities,” said Wang. “This shows that there’s a greater likelihood that females with high math ability also have high verbal ability, giving them more career options.”

Notably, those participants who reported feeling more able and successful at math were more likely to end up in STEM-related jobs, and this was particularly true for students who had high math and moderate verbal abilities. Therefore, mathematics may play a more integral role in these individuals’ sense of identity, drawing them toward STEM occupations.

According to Wang, this study identifies a critical link in the debate about the dearth of women in STEM fields. These findings suggest that “educators and policy makers may consider shifting the focus from trying to strengthen girls’ STEM-related abilities to trying to tap the potential of these girls who are equally skilled in both mathematics and verbal domains.”

Wang’s coauthors include the University of Michigan’s Jacquelynne Eccles and Sarah Kenny. The paper, “Not Lack of Ability but More Choice: Individual and Gender Differences in Choice of Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,” was published online March 19 in Psychological Science

B. Rose Huber | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pitt.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>