Not All Fields Are Created Equal: Examining Gender Differences in STEM

Featuring Sapna Cheryan, Ph.D.

Increasing women’s participation in STEM fields has been a national topic that has led to changes in both education policy and business practices. Yet, research shows that some STEM fields reflect greater gender disparity than others: Women receive almost half of the bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, but earn less than 20% of computer science, engineering and physics degrees.
What accounts for this difference and how can we increase women’s participation in those underrepresented fields? These questions are at the heart of Dr. Sapna Cheryan’s latest research, and she joined us to address these questions and challenge the notion that gender differences are uniform in STEM fields. She presented a model to explain why gender differences persist in computer science, physics and engineering.
Dr. Cheryan has published and co-authored numerous scholarly articles and her work has been widely featured in national publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME magazine.