STEM women and their views on their journey through college
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Keywords

women; STEM; college career; studies; gender; higher education; working market; academy; University; science; technology; professional orientation; math; choice
feminine
daughter mujeres; STEM; carrera universitaria; estudios; género; educación superior; mercado laboral; academia; universidad; ciencia; tecnología; orientación profesional; matemáticas; elección
femenino
hija

How to Cite

Hernández Herrera, C. A. (2021). STEM women and their views on their journey through college. Nova Scientia, 13(27). https://doi.org/10.21640/ns.v13i27.2753

Abstract

Access to quality education for women allows them to move away from poverty and increases their chances of entering the labor market, as well as helping to reduce the gender gap and contribute to growth, development, and innovation in their countries. However, their presence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields is challenging, as they are sometimes faced with unfavorable academic environments. Therefore, the objective of this article is to study the perceptions of STEM women with high academic performance (in higher education) in relation to the motivations that led them to choose those careers, their beliefs about the greater presence of men in those fields, and their feelings about possible acts of discrimination. In addition, it is proposed to investigate their points of view in relation to the current teaching of mathematics that girls receive. All of that aimed to know the reality of STEM women, in order to identify areas of opportunity and, thus, implement actions that contribute to the growth of young women who are currently studying STEM careers or are about to choose what they will study.                  

Methods: This is a qualitative study for which thirteen semi-structured interviews with university women were conducted. The analysis was carried out through the ATLAS.ti software.                       

Results: It was found that from an early age on, these women showed interest for mathematics, in addition to receiving the support of their family, but nevertheless, concern about the future of women in these fields remains. Likewise, it was found that women consider that there are more men in this field because women are afraid of STEM areas due to the knowledge required, coupled with the belief that engineering is for men; they have also received discriminatory actions.                       

Discussion or Conclusion: It is concluded that higher education institutions still have the challenge of working to eliminate the hostile environments that are produced towards women students. In addition, it is necessary to increasing the number of teachers, conducting a study of graduates to trace their work trajectory, working on a scholarship program directed at students from low socioeconomic strata, and promote stays in the productive sectors so that they know the work environments related to their career.                        

https://doi.org/10.21640/ns.v13i27.2753
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