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How pop culture can solve gender inequality in the STEM fields

Dec. 18, 2015

Is the lack of women in the STEM fields a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Is the lack of women in the STEM fields a self-fulfilling prophecy? Young girls aren't used to seeing scientists, engineers, IT professionals or mathematicians portrayed as women in movies, TV shows or other media. Is this lack or representation subconsciously telling impressionable girls that careers in the STEM field are not for them? 

In a recent article, Reshma Saujani explores these very ideas. Here is an excerpt from the story: "The movement to inspire more young women to pursue careers in computer science and technology starts by dispelling myths that popular culture has promoted: That girls aren’t good at science and technology subjects and don’t like them. For decades, popular culture has reinforced these negative stereotypes and signaled to girls that these subjects are not for them. Twenty years ago Barbie first uttered, “Math class is tough,” but only two years ago Forever 21 ushered in the back to school shopping season with their “Allergic to Algebra” T-shirts. We need to shift this paradigm and use popular culture as a tool, rather than as a deterrent."

To learn more, read "Popular Culture Can Inspire and Entice Girls in Technology" from The New York Times.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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