Look around your office. Is there a balance of male and female talent throughout your firm and across your team? If your field is academic science or engineering, I would guess probably not. In a 2012 review of recent work sociologist Lara Perez-Felkner of Florida State University and her colleagues revealed that by age five, girls receive the message that math is for boys. Females typically don’t start down a STEM path until they reach college. According to an article in Scientific American Mind (Women in Science: The Path to Progress, January/February 2015) girls and boys do not differ in average mathematical ability. Although women are majoring in math (and 40 to 48 percent of baccalaureates in math have been awarded to women for four decades) fewer women are majoring in most of the math-related fields. Unfortunately, the bias still exists in the hiring of men over women in STEM fields, and in their rate of promotions if they are hired in those fields. Don’t even get me started on salary and mentoring of male hires over female hires in fields such as engineering. It was discouraging to see this data today, and to know that this bias still has a long way to go to be eradicated. I challenge those in hiring positions to keep this in mind.
Ann Banning - Wright