The Gender and ICT research group of the IN3 organises this research seminar, by Katariina Salmela-Aro (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Milagros Sáinz (Director of Gender and ICT research group), with the support of the project “Challenges to the persistence of gender roles and stereotypes in the choice of higher education studies from a longitudinal approach. The role of families and teachers” (FEM2014-55096-R, Principal Investigator: Milagros Sáinz) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
The unequal access of women to careers related to science and technology and of men to careers associated with care and education continues to be a challenge of current societies. Various forms of sexism are still present in the academic field, such as considering girls worse in math or physical science than boys; as well as to consider boys worse in languages than girls. This type of assessments determine boys’ and girls’ academic and occupational choices, their performance and their self-perception of ability, as well as the importance they give to the subjects and courses they will pursue in the future.
Recent research alerts of the impact that sexism has on young people’s academic motivation and course enrollment throughout secondary education and university studies. This has a particular interest when considering why women do not feel attraction for many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) studies and occupations.
In this regard, and despite the fact that girls obtain grades comparable and even higher than their male counterparts in scientific and technological subjects (traditionally linked with masculine gender roles), there is a common belief that girls have less ability in this type of disciplines and occupations. This leads many girls to choose fields of scientific and technological knowledge related to biology and health (traditionally associated with feminine gender roles) and to discard the development of their talents in the design and production of scientific and technological tools and services
The present seminar is part of the research project ESTEREO whose main aim revolves around the study of academic sexism and its effect on secondary students’ academic and occupational preferences. This objective is aligned to the challenge "social changes and innovations”, associated with the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and Innovation (2013-2020).