Study: Minorities, women often discouraged from entering engineering, science fields

From The State Journal, “West Virginia’s Only Business Newspaper” comes another article about women (and minorities) who study STEM.

Cathy Bonnstetter wrote:

An online poll of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, department chairs at America’s top 200 research institutions […] showed that 40 percent of minority and female chemists and engineers polled said they were discouraged from studying STEM subjects.

Although they agreed that their institutions did very little to recruit and retain women and minorities in their programs, the mostly white, middle-aged, Caucasian male STEM chairs said:

the number of women in their STEM courses has stayed steady. They also said they believed women came to college most prepared to tackle STEM subjects, while minorities came the least prepared.

The reason the minorities were less prepared?

“The chairs felt the underrepresented minority students faced a lack of limited quality science in elementary and secondary school, as well as a lack of role models,” Lucore said.


Read the full article.

What? A sexist joke was made in poor taste?

Stephen Totilo reported here on the Kotaku site that there was backlash when Tom Bissell wrote the following in his review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:

If you have no idea what the Elder Scrolls franchise is, you are probably either (a) an adult woman, or (b) the sort of person who once beat up the sort of person who likes the Elder Scrolls franchise, so herewith a quick primer: Bethesda Game Studios made it; its genre is the genre that has elves; and its subgenre is the open-world RPG.

He claims it was a joke, but, to his surprise not everyone took it that way. Totilo documented the responses in what he called a:

24-hour journey from original statement, to reaction, to reaction to reaction, to reaction to reaction to reaction to… frustrated parties disagreeing to disagree at opposite ends.

Women in IT

Another post in Campus Technology about the push to get more women into the IT industry, more specifically, into executive positions.

The editors of Campus Technology write that although there are more women than men on campus(es) and more women earning advanced degrees, males dominate executive positions, especially in IT. The article also includes interviews with three female IT executives in which they share their thoughts on their male-dominated field.

NCWIT Trying To Increase Number of Women in Technology Field

This article from the Technology section of Forbes describes the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) program “Pacesetters” that has partnered with educational institutions and businesses to recruit and retain women in the field of IT.Apparently it is working. Author Tim Sohn wrote:

“Higher education institutions and businesses are already reporting results: The University of Virginia is on its way to boosting its percentage of women computing graduates by 10 percent to 25 percent. Google now has twice as many female engineer interns. University of California, Santa Cruz has increased the number of female majors in computer science by 40 percent. In addition, IBM is encouraging more women to participate in professional development programs.”