Friday, March 14, 2014

Who is Discouraging Women From STEM Careers?

I was reading an article at Matt Walsh's blog1 where he pointed out that women don't have it worse than men. One of the comments2 caught my eye:
However, one thing about the .77 dollar argument that bears investigation is why women are underrepresented in the STEM professions, which tend to be the highest-paying professions. Studies have consistently revealed that girls are discouraged in math and science classrooms.
Having worked in a STEM field (computer programming) for over a quarter of a century, I found the idea that girls are discouraged from entering STEM fields to be curious. It certainly didn't line up with my experience in the industry. Schools have been pushing girls into math and science, not discouraging them. In my experience technology companies have been bending over backwards and jumping through hoops to get more women into IT (information technology). From programs aimed at getting high school students involved in technology to hiring decisions, there has always been a blunt, out-in-the-open emphasis on getting more women into IT.

So, if it's not “the patriarchy” pushing women down and denying them a chance to enter technology fields, what does account for women being underrepresented in technology fields? After a little research into personality types and career fields, I think I found the answer.