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Op-Ed: To Close Gap in STEM Pipeline, Engage Families
The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs will grow 17 percent by 2018. And the growth in STEM jobs will be 55 percent faster than non-STEM jobs over the next 10 years. Although such anticipated growth is encouraging since it supports the theory that a thriving STEM workforce is directly linked to the economic prosperity of the United States, there is still concern: as many as 2.4 million STEM jobs could remain unfilled in the nation by that time. Is there a solution to help drive our nation's youth into these fast-growing STEM fields and meet the demand for qualified STEM professionals? According to a new report issued by National PTA, families are the answer.
Posted on 22 Nov 2016
Strata + Hadoop World: Make data work; March 13-16, 2017, San Jose, California
Strata + Hadoop World is a 4-day immersion in the most challenging problems, intriguing use cases, and enticing opportunities in data today. Over a hundred of the most interesting people in data will take the stage to share their expertise and ideas, covering everything that's essential in data today, including: Sensors, IOT, and industrial applications, Real-time streaming and applications, Data science and advanced analytics, Concrete case studies of data at work, Law, ethics, privacy, and open data, Big data and data science in the cloud and much more.
Posted on 22 Nov 2016
Women Startup Challenge VR and AI
Women Who Tech's fourth Women Startup Challenge is showcasing and funding innovative, women-led startups focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) that are solving problems for people, businesses, and the planet. The Challenge, in partnership with Craig Newmark of craigslist, the Craig Newmark Foundation, and sponsored in part by Fred and Joanne Wilson, will award $50,000 in cash and other startup friendly services at Google in NYC on February 15, 2017. (Prizes subject to change.) Startups in the AI, AR, and VR field with at least one woman Cofounder can apply to this challenge. The 10 best applicants will be selected to pitch their startup on stage in front of our distinguished judging panel of investors and hundreds of attendees in New York City in February 2017.
Posted on 22 Nov 2016
Recommendation letters reflect gender bias
Female geoscientists are less likely to be described as excelling beyond other students than their male counterparts are, according to a study of recommendation letters for highly selective postdoctoral fellowships published today in Nature Geoscience. The letters written for female applicants typically praised them as solid scientists doing good work, using comments such as ''highly intelligent'' and ''very knowledgeable,'' but were less likely to set the applicant apart from the others. The findings support the idea that gender bias exists unconsciously, says Kuheli Dutt, assistant director of academic affairs and diversity at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and lead author of the study, and suggest that ''women are potentially disadvantaged from the beginning of their careers.''
Posted on 10 Nov 2016
DistractinglyHonest exhibit highlights women's work in STEM
Eden Hennessey, a psychology PhD candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University, now has two art exhibitions about sexism in the STEM fields to her name. The latest, DistractinglyHonest, launched this fall at Laurier and features 15 interactive pieces built around portraits of women in science across a range of demographics, careers and interests. A collaboration with Laurier's Centre for Women in Science, where Ms. Hennessey is a student research coordinator, the exhibit is closely linked to her doctoral research on the consequences and perceptions faced by women confronting sexism in STEM. ''It aims to shine a light on the reality of women's experiences as scientists,''says Laurier physics and computer science professor Shohini Ghose, who is featured in the exhibit.
Posted on 10 Nov 2016
A new study shows that the gender gap in math abilities starts early - and teacher bias makes it worse as time goes on
In 2008, research suggested there was no gender gap in math performance in the US. From second to 11th grades, girls did just as well as boys on state standardized math tests. A new, well-designed, and large study suggests otherwise. It looks at younger children and shows that there is a tiny gender gap when kids start school (albeit larger among the very top performers) and that it widens, across all ability levels, through third grade. That's a critical timeframe, as past research shows that early math achievement determines a child's interest and confidence in the subject during elementary and middle school, and strongly predicts how good at math she'll be later on. Perhaps most unsettling is the study's finding that teachers perceive girls with nearly identical mathematical abilities- and identical behavioral profiles - to be significantly less able than their male counterparts, and that bias itself is part of the reason girls end up doing worse.
Posted on 10 Nov 2016
Masculine culture responsible for keeping women out of computer science, engineering
Many science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) areas now show a gender parity - women earn about half of the undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry and mathematics. This, however, is not true of all STEM areas - women earn fewer than one out of every five of the undergraduate degrees in computer science and engineering. The failure of computer science and engineering to recruit and graduate women is incredibly costly. These disciplines often offer high-paying jobs, and men's greater participation in lucrative jobs in these fields perpetuates the gender gap in pay. That's not all. When predominantly male engineering teams design lifesaving products, such as airbags and heart valves, they often do so with male bodies in mind. This has far-reaching implications - some of these products have caused injuries and deaths for women and children. The research shows gender gaps in computer science and engineering are a result of a masculine culture that dominates these fields.
Posted on 10 Nov 2016
Breaking the code: Examining female representation in computer science
Given the popularity of the computer science major, it's likely that you've heard some of your friends complain about a coding assignment. But what percentage of those friends are female? Competition for tech talent is intense, with new computer science graduates commanding one of the highest starting salaries. However, men still hold a disproportionate number of jobs in computer science fields. A National Science Foundation study in 2013 found that women's participation in engineering and computer science fields was less than 30 percent. Some students and faculty at Duke have noticed the gender gap in the computer science major. However, according to data provided by Frank Blalark, assistant vice provost and university registrar, the percentage of female computer science majors actually fell from 22.7 percent in 2014 to 17.5 percent in 2015. Rodger noted that she has also observed an emerging trend for female computer science students to exit the major as course levels get higher.
Posted on 10 Nov 2016
Single-Sex education will not bridge the STEM gap
To the average person, news of a massive gender gap in STEM-related fields would likely be unsurprising. A report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that in 2014, 81 percent of Bachelor's degrees in engineering were obtained by male graduates, while 19 percent of degrees were received by female graduates. Similarly, computer sciences saw a gap of 82 percent to 18 percent between males and females, and physical sciences were divided into 61 percent male and 39 percent female, while females dominate fields in the social sciences. This report, just one in a series of similar studies, is hardly news, and it seems that Americans are well aware of the gender gap. The question now is how to shift the balance toward equal representation.
Posted on 31 Oct 2016
Supporting prospective women in STEM starts with accessible mentors
A recent UW study explored current gender disparities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and it concluded that an unwelcoming culture was the main deterrent to women entering these fields. Lead author Sapna Cheryan, an associate professor in psychology, said that most studies focus on disparities in STEM fields as a whole, but this one focused on the presence of higher representation in some fields versus others. Although women are well-represented in certain STEM fields like biology, chemistry, and math, the disparity becomes more apparent in computer science, engineering, and physics.
Posted on 31 Oct 2016

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