STEM Careers: Workshops Using Role Model Can Reduce Gender Stereotypes

DIW Weekly Report 13 / 2020, S. 163-172

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.

Julia Schmieder

Research Associate in the Gender Economics Department

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