|CfA Women in Science|
Current Meetings and Links
Abstract: One of my favorite references is the AAUW report entitled, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. I learned so much the first time I read it and have returned to it time and again for details, references, and statistics. This report summarizes studies showing that girls' achievements and interests in math and science continue to be shaped by social and environmental factors. The reasons that there are so few of us are NOT related to innate gender differences! I plan to talk about three of my favorite topics from this report: (1) Growth Mindset, the idea that believing in the potential for intellectual growth, in and of itself, improves outcomes; (2) Stereotype Threat, the anxiety women face in a situation where they have the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about women as a group; and (3) Spatial Skills, a test with one of the largest and most persistent gender gaps, where boys consistently outperform girls.
The full report can be accessed here, a site that also includes downloadable powerpoint presentations.
Joan's power point presentation can be accessed here.. During the discussion, other references proved valuable. Here are links to: International comparisons of math and reading achievement, a link to Studies of stereotype threat, and a copy of the New York Times article from May 15, 2014 on the experiences at the University of Texas at Austin developing programs to retain students.
I will describe the new CSWA Climate Site Visit program (with the hope that CfA will be an early participant), along with some initiatives we're undertaking at MIT. One of the most useful diagnostic tools I've found is the Wisconsin Climate Brochure, which is attached here. It would be useful to read it before the Thursday lunch. I'm happy for any special requests, too - my perspectives have been broadened through my new role as Community and Equity Officer for all MIT.