Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Faculty

Faculty of Engineering

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Lori Buchanan

Abstract/Description of Original Work

This study explores gendered inequities in STEM fields by examining the intersectionality of self-perception, stereotypes, and gender across career goals.

Self-perception strongly influences career decisions and is often affected by societal stereotypes and dated views on the roles of men and women. Gender biases are evident in male dominated science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields (Franzway et al. 2019). Previous research has solely focused on how self-perception is linked to the undergraduate female performance (Jones et al, 2013). Female centered studies create a gap in understanding the impact of gender inequity on students in STEM based programs. Expanding the scope to include female and male experiences in a variety of STEM and non-STEM careers creates a more accurate relationship between one’s self-perception and success in chosen career.

In this study, participants were asked to list their five most salient personality traits. They were then asked to list the three traits they considered most critical for success in two STEM and two non-STEM related careers. To conclude, participants were asked to state their intended profession. This study tested the hypothesis that males would consistently list traits associated with engineers and scientists, i.e., hard-skill descriptors, whereas females would list traits consistent with teachers and nurses, i.e., soft-skill descriptors. It is anticipated that this will hold for men and women regardless of their career goals, highlighting how gendered career stereotypes and self-perception can hold students back in their careers.

Understanding the implications of this dated gendered self-perception can inform STEM education and create a more progressive and equitable STEM culture.

Availability

March 29th - April 1st after 2pm

Special Considerations

Presenter: Erica Rossi

I am currently on a full-time co-op term and would only be able to take time off in the late afternoon so if chosen I would appreciate a late afternoon presentation time slot.

Share

COinS
 

The Alignment of Self-Perception, Stereotypes, and Career Traits

This study explores gendered inequities in STEM fields by examining the intersectionality of self-perception, stereotypes, and gender across career goals.

Self-perception strongly influences career decisions and is often affected by societal stereotypes and dated views on the roles of men and women. Gender biases are evident in male dominated science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields (Franzway et al. 2019). Previous research has solely focused on how self-perception is linked to the undergraduate female performance (Jones et al, 2013). Female centered studies create a gap in understanding the impact of gender inequity on students in STEM based programs. Expanding the scope to include female and male experiences in a variety of STEM and non-STEM careers creates a more accurate relationship between one’s self-perception and success in chosen career.

In this study, participants were asked to list their five most salient personality traits. They were then asked to list the three traits they considered most critical for success in two STEM and two non-STEM related careers. To conclude, participants were asked to state their intended profession. This study tested the hypothesis that males would consistently list traits associated with engineers and scientists, i.e., hard-skill descriptors, whereas females would list traits consistent with teachers and nurses, i.e., soft-skill descriptors. It is anticipated that this will hold for men and women regardless of their career goals, highlighting how gendered career stereotypes and self-perception can hold students back in their careers.

Understanding the implications of this dated gendered self-perception can inform STEM education and create a more progressive and equitable STEM culture.