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STEM Careers: Workshops Using Role Model Can Reduce Gender Stereotypes

DIW Weekly Report 13 / 2020, S. 193-201

Katharina Drescher, Simone Häckl, Julia Schmieder

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Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM occupations (science, technology, engineering, and math). Based on a survey among secondary school students in Vienna, we show, for instance, that girls’ career aspirations, interests, and self-assessed skills in STEM fields are related to gender stereo- types. Parents also play a crucial role in this context. Further results indicate that a half-day career guidance workshop, which confronts students with role models, can change gender-biased attitudes towards technology. This demonstrates that short, inexpensive interventions can be an effective way of fostering girls’ interest in STEM.

JEL-Classification: I24;J16
Keywords: STEM, gender stereotypes, role models

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