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More women in a STEM field leads people to label it as a ‘soft science,’ according to new research
One factor that influences the use of the labels “soft science” or “hard science” is gender bias, according to recent research my colleagues and I conducted. Women’s participation varies across STEM disciplines. While women have nearly reached gender parity in biomedical sciences, they still make up only about 18% of students receiving undergraduate degrees in computer science, for instance. In a series of experiments, they varied the information study participants read about women’s representation in fields like chemistry, sociology and biomedical sciences. Then they asked them to categorize these fields as either a “soft science” or a “hard science.” Across studies, participants were consistently more likely to describe a discipline as a “soft science” when they’d been led to believe that proportionally more women worked in the field. Moreover, the “soft science” label led people to devalue these fields – describing them as less rigorous, less trustworthy and less deserving of federal research funding.
Posted on 27 Jan 2022
Managing Diversity in the Workplace: 6 Expert Tips for Success
According to workplace statistics from Zippia, American workplaces with racially and ethnically diverse leaders are 36% more likely to have better financial performance than companies without solid diversity. In addition, 67% of job seekers see diversity as a deciding factor when taking a new job. Diversity is a higher priority at work than ever before, and it should be first in recruiters’ and managers’ minds. Companies that know how to manage diversity in the workplace are more successful and provide healthier environments. With the above in mind, let’s go over what diversity means and how you can improve it within your own workplace.
Posted on 27 Jan 2022
Inclusion Changes What’s Possible: Creating a Positive Classroom Climate- January 26, 2022
NCWIT and Infosys Foundation USA invite you to join us for a presentation with representatives of the NCWIT Research and Evaluation teams on the importance of a positive classroom climate. Listen in as these research scientists discuss what factors influence classroom climate, offer strategies that can create more inclusive environments, and take a deep dive into NCWIT resources that will assist with this endeavor and help encourage students to persist in computer science coursework and careers. With all of these free resources available to the public, you can equip others to have vital conversations surrounding culture change in your district. By the end of this session you will be equipped with the tools to create a positive and inclusive classroom climate (both in person and virtually) and better prepare students for a future in computing.
Posted on 16 Jan 2022
Invent Together Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Approve the Nomination of Kathi Vidal as USPTO Director
Did you know that Kathi Vidal would be the second woman ever to lead the USPTO? Moreover, she is a highly qualified IP attorney with a STEM background and a track record of supporting PatentDiversity. Invent Together, a coalition of which AWIS is a founding member, supports her confirmation.
Posted on 16 Jan 2022
Scholarships AWIS; apply by February 28, 2022
AWIS Distinguished Doctoral Research Scholarship: Awarded to an AWIS member whose dissertation research project is judged likely to make important and original contributions to her field. This $10,000 award is intended for a pre-doctoral student in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Mathematics or Engineering who is a woman expecting to graduate within 2 years of the application deadline.
AWIS Opportunity Scholarships for Career Re-entry: Up to four women (AWIS members with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related field) will receive individual awards of $2,500 to be used for expenses that will support and enable return to a STEM career after being out of the workforce for more than two years. Scholarships may be used for job search fees, technology needs, commuting, family care, additional education, participation in an incubator, or start-up fees for a scientific innovation or product.
Posted on 16 Jan 2022
The Webb Space Telescope Will Rewrite Cosmic History. If It Works.
The James Webb Space Telescope has launched! Read about a few of the amazing WomenInSTEM behind this project, including Sarah Kendrew, Wendy Freedman, Marcia Rieke, and Natasha Batalha.
Posted on 28 Dec 2021
Study: Kids stereotype tech as being for boys and not girls – but not for the reason you might expect
New research from the University of Washington and the University of Houston found that gender stereotypes around computer science and engineering for kids can start in first grade and stretch through high school. While disappointing, it’s not entirely surprising. The gender diversity of high school students taking AP computer science classes, for example, has increased over recent years, but female students still make up fewer than 30% of those taking the AP exam. In studies that surveyed more than 2,200 kids, 51% of the children and teens said that girls are less interested than boys in computer science, and 63% of them said that girls are less interested in engineering. When asked if girls are more interested than boys in computer science, only 14% said that was the case, and only 9% said girls are more interested in engineering. The results suggest that the efforts to attract more girls to computer science and engineering should not only focus on showing girls that they can be intellectually successful in these areas. The efforts need to convince them that they want to try it in the first place, that these are subjects that are appealing to girls like themselves.
Posted on 15 Dec 2021
Learn how to say no to advance your career
Whether you have overbooked yourself, realized you have a conflict, or otherwise can’t or don’t want to participate in a project, it’s essential to uncommit gracefully. Setting boundaries respectfully will keep your reputation intact and your relationships strong. Melody Wilding will explain how you can be more assertive and confident, especially while juggling the unique pressures that make it challenging for women to succeed.
Posted on 15 Dec 2021
NCWIT Conversations for Change with Dr. Lien Diaz: Promoting Equity in Computer Science Education – 8th December 2021
Come learn about Lien’s journey and the lessons that have led to her work on challenging the status quo and broadening participation in computer science education, including her work with the Constellation Center which she founded in order to advance equitable computer science education through a comprehensive approach. Lien Diaz is a national leader in innovative professional development practices and a crusader for equity in STEM and computing education. On December 8, she joins NCWIT for a Conversation for Change. Don’t miss this powerful event!
Posted on 29 Nov 2021
Listen to This New Podcast: The Lost Women of Science
Have you checked out Scientific American's new podcast Lost Women of Science yet? Each season will uncover the life and work of a different woman in science. "We’re revisiting the historical record one extraordinary scientist at a time," says host Katie Hafner. A new podcast is on a mission to retrieve unsung female scientists from oblivion.
Posted on 29 Nov 2021

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