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Why AI provides a fresh opportunity to neutralize bias
Humans develop biases over time. We aren't born with them. However, examples of gender, economic, occupational and racial bias exist in communities, industries and social contexts around the world. And while there are people leading initiatives to fundamentally change these phenomena in the physical world, it persists and manifests in new ways in the digital world. In the tech world, bias permeates everything from startup culture to investment pitches during funding rounds to the technology itself. Innovations with world-changing potential don't get necessary funding, or are completely overlooked, because of the demographic makeup or gender of their founders. People with non-traditional and extracurricular experiences that qualify them for coding jobs are being screened out of the recruitment process due to their varied backgrounds.
Posted on 09 Nov 2017
Students Of Color Study STEM With A Focus On Social Justice
Young students interested in STEM fields are often pitched that the careers are lucrative. But a new study from Vanderbilt University suggests that for students of color, it's not just about the money. Researchers found African-American and Latinx students were most likely to go into science, technology, engineering and mathematics because of their interest in social justice issues. ''They are very passionate about the STEM itself,'' said Ebony McGee, lead author of the study. "But they see it being intersectional with being able to do good in the world, either in their communities or in the larger global community." For the study, McGee interviewed 38 high-achieving black and Latinx STEM undergraduate students, asking for their life stories and what motivated them to enter STEM fields. Some of the students' stories were more traditional, such as wanting to make money for their family, said McGee, associate professor of education, diversity and STEM education at Vanderbilt.
Posted on 09 Nov 2017
What Sephora Can Teach Your Employer About Hiring Women in Tech
When it comes to gender equity, Sephora has tech giants like Apple and Facebook beat. In fact, as The Wall Street Journal recently noted, 62 percent of Sephora's tech roles are held by women. By comparison, in the industry as a whole, women hold about 26 percent of tech jobs. In Silicon Valley, tech employers compete for a potential staff of programmers, UX designers, and even executives. Despite the demand for talent, at most tech firms women only make up a small percentage of the workforce - especially in higher paid technical and leadership roles.
Posted on 09 Nov 2017
Where the STEM Jobs Are (and Where They Aren't)
The national priority in education can be summed up in a four-letter acronym: STEM. And that's understandable. A country's proficiency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is vital in generating economic growth, advancing scientific innovation and creating good jobs. Much of the public enthusiasm for STEM education rests on the assumption that these fields are rich in job opportunity. Some are, some aren't. STEM is an expansive category, spanning many disciplines and occupations, from software engineers and data scientists to geologists, astronomers and physicists. What recent studies have made increasingly apparent is that the greatest number of high-paying STEM jobs are in the ''T'' (specifically, computing).
Posted on 09 Nov 2017
To see more women in science, deal with test-taking anxiety in girls
In a recent standardized science test given to 15-year-olds in 72 countries, there was almost no gap in the scores between boys and girls. The latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test administered by the OECD every three years to more than half a million students, found that boys scored 4 points, or less than 1%, better than girls in science. In the assessment, in 2015, boys outperformed girls in 24 places, with the biggest gaps in Austria, Costa Rica, and Italy. Girls outperformed boys in 22, with Finland, Qatar and Jordan among those with the biggest gaps favoring girls. But the OECD find one notable difference between the sexes: in every single country tested, girls had much higher levels of schoolwork- and test-related anxiety than boys. On average across OECD countries, girls were about 13 percentage points more likely than boys to report they get very tense when they study. Girls were also 17 percentage points more likely to feel ''very anxious'' ahead of a test, even if they were well prepared
Posted on 31 Oct 2017
Can Robots Help Get More Girls Into Science And Tech?
Here's a depressing number for you: 12. Just 12 percent of engineers in the United States are women. In computing it's a bit better, where women make up 26 percent of the workforce - but that number has actually fallen from 35 percent in 1990. The United States has a serious problem with getting women into STEM jobs and keeping them there. Silicon Valley and other employers bear the most responsibility for that: Discrimination, both overt and subtle, works to keep women out of the workforce. But this society of ours also perpetuates gender stereotypes, which parents pass on to their kids. Like the one that says boys enjoy building things more than girls.
Posted on 31 Oct 2017
A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work
Gender equality remains frustratingly elusive. Women are underrepresented in the C-suite, receive lower salaries, and are less likely to receive a critical first promotion to manager than men. Numerous causes have been suggested, but one argument that persists points to differences in men and women's behavior. Which raises the question: Do women and men act all that differently? We realized that there's little to no concrete data on women's behavior in the office. Previous work has relied on surveys and self-reported assessments - methods of data collecting that are prone to bias. Fortunately, the proliferation of digital communication data and the advancement of sensor technology have enabled us to more precisely measure workplace behavior.
Posted on 31 Oct 2017
CSforAll Announces Computer Science Pledges from Over 170 Organizations
The CSforAll Consortium announced commitments from over 170 organizations to develop and support computer science programming and train teachers, the latest in a series of recent efforts to promote STEM education and computing. Just last month, the White House released a memorandum instructing the U.S. Department of Education to direct up to $200 million a year for the next five years toward STEM and computer science. In relationship to the White House announcement, a collection of tech and education companies pledged $300 million to funding computer science programming.
Posted on 31 Oct 2017
Register your interest to get Quantum Ambassadors to work with your students
STEM is currently developing an exciting new project to get your A level students involved with quantum physics. It is a free project that aims to get Quantum Ambassadors, researchers in the field of quantum physics, into your classroom to bring cutting-edge physics and technology to life. Perfect for A level or equivalent students of physics or computer science, this programme will demonstrate what fundamental quantum science is and how it works with future technologies. The project will provide a range of support to help you lead quantum physics activities in the classroom.
Posted on 21 Oct 2017
Gatsby launches Good Practical Science report to transform practical science education
A new report outlining ten benchmarks to transform practical science education in England been published by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. The Good Practical Science report details recommendations to help secondary schools achieve world-class science education. The benchmarks include recommendations for schools, policymakers, Ofsted and teacher trainers. Looking at more than 400 secondary schools in England to gauge the status of practical science, the report also involved visits to world-leading nations including Finland, Germany and Singapore to learn what was done differently internationally.
Posted on 21 Oct 2017

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