Empowering Women in STEM
Above all, UCSTEMinist strives to eliminate societal beliefs and stereotypes that marginalize women in STEM.
Below are 4 common concerns women in STEM face and ways to overcome them:
1. Inaccurate View That Intelligence and STEM Abilities Are Innate
- Take on a growth mindset
- Focus on effort
- Set improvement & learning goals
- Understand how much can be learned from challenges and setbacks
"College is when you first have those experiences where you don't do something right and then you have a mini panic attack. It's difficult for science majors because they don't understand that it's okay, you can get back up and do it again."
2. “Chilly” Climate and Lack of Belonging
- Understand that everyone feels like an impostor and like they don’t belong at some point
- Connect with classmates
- Connect with mentors
"When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood."
3. Don’t Limit Your Potential
- Take credit for your successes & be confident in your abilities
- Make sure you’re not holding yourself—and other women—to higher standards
- Don’t be afraid to take risks & don’t feel like you have to be perfect
"Feminism isn't simply about being a woman in a position of power. It's battling systemic inequities; it's a social justice movement that believes sexism, racism and classism exist and interconnect, and that they should be consistently challenged."
4. Gender / Implicit Bias
- Be aware that gender bias still exists, including among women
- Challenge bias when you see it
- Find female role models
(On WiMSE) "There wasn't one specific person that was like let me guide you through the ways of STEM; just seeing how many different people found joy in doing STEM was really a key factor for my staying with it."