The male dominated STEM culture has to start taking women seriously. Universities have implemented mentorship programs and tried to help females in STEM throughout their time in college. However, after they graduate females are quitting, specifically the field of engineering, at a consistent rate. Susan Silbey said it perfectly that “gender stereotyping in the workplace, coupled with unchallenging projects, blatant sexual harassment, and greater isolation from supportive networks, leads many female students to revisit their ambitions.” Diary entries collected from engineering students revealed a lot about the difference experiences between men and women in the field. In group work in school for example, females are often given secretarial jobs versus the males who get to work on the technical engineering content. On the job front, the entries also showed the majority of males enjoy their internships while females feel they are not taken seriously and given fewer hands on problem solving jobs. The study also found women tend to want to be involved with socially conscious engineering, but soon realize most firms don’t pay attention to those issues. These negative experiences are pushing females out of engineering and unless the culture changes the numbers will continue to drop.
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