‘We Can’t Wait’: The Women Behind the ‘We-Can’t-Wait’ Culprits
A few months ago, the National Partnership for Women & Families (NVPF), a group that promotes women’s health and education, asked the National Academy of Sciences to review its research on the prevalence of gender bias in the hiring of female and minority researchers.
That review found a significant bias against women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that researchers use for their research.
NVPF’s executive director, Elizabeth Sparhawk, said the group is not surprised that the number of female scientists has been declining over the past five years.
“There’s this misconception that if you’re a woman, you can’t do research,” Sparho said.
“It’s an idea that’s been passed down from one generation to the next.”
She said NVPFs goal is to ensure that women are represented at the forefront of science and technology in the public and private sectors.
“That’s what we’re doing, by ensuring that we have more women in our research teams, in the field and in the labs, in all our communities, so that when we look at a problem and we can understand it better, we can do something about it,” Sparrho said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
“I think we need to be doing that as well, because we can’t wait.”
Sparhawk’s research team reviewed a slew of studies, including a 2015 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) that looked at how gender biases impact women and minorities in STEM fields.
The report concluded that researchers have a “deep bias against female and black scientists” who “are underrepresented in STEM-related fields.”
The report’s authors said they found that female scientists are more likely to be called out for their lack of representation in STEM than their male colleagues, while white women and black women were more likely than white men to be ignored.
“It’s a problem,” Sparshawk said.
“[But] there’s no magic solution.
The reality is that the barriers to representation are real and it’s systemic.
It’s not something that’s unique to one person.”
The problems are more subtle than just the lack of opportunities, Sparholas team said.
They pointed to a lack of diversity in how STEM fields are taught and taught in STEM classrooms.
“There’s no uniformity in how women are taught in our classrooms.
And there’s really no consistent approach in terms of how women and men are treated in classrooms,” she said.
According to the NVPH study, there are a wide range of reasons why women are underrepresented.
One is that there is a “very high proportion of women” in STEM, but “the fact that they’re underrepresented is a function of what they do,” Sparcho said, referring to science education.
Women who are in STEM do a lot of things that don’t require the same kinds of expertise that men are taught, such as designing devices for use in a robotics project, or conducting clinical trials.
“The fact that there are so many different types of women in those fields does not mean they’re not competent,” Sparlhos said.
The other issue, which is a big reason why there is an underrepresentation of women, is that women in STEM are less likely to go into research, Sparsholas said.
A study published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences found that women underrepresented among researchers in STEM tended to be younger and in lower-paying fields.
That may be because there are fewer women at the top of STEM fields and because there aren’t as many women working in research as there are in other fields, Sparcholas explained.
In addition, a 2015 study published by the National Science Foundation found that while women make up roughly three-quarters of the American population, they are under represented in science research.
It also found that they are disproportionately represented in fields that have a lot to do with medicine and technology, such with medical devices.
“Women in science fields have a lower representation in medical and engineering, so the difference is really the difference between medical and technological,” Spargas said in the interview.
“If you have a field that’s going to be applied in medicine, then the opportunity is much more likely that women will go into that field.”
It’s not just in the sciences, either.
In the field of psychology, for example, the gender gap in STEM research is even larger than in STEM.
There, a study published earlier this year found that “male-to-female ratios for STEM disciplines, as well as the proportion of men in senior leadership positions, are higher than the ratio for women in science.”
It may be hard to understand why there’s such a huge disparity in research, but it’s actually a result of the fact that men and women have different ideas about what’s healthy and what’s