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"What Gender is STEM? The Segregation of Science and Engineering and What To Do About It"

Professor Maria Charles, UC Santa Barbara
Apr 18, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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Scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) fields are strongholds of segregation in the contemporary United States. Women today make up nearly half of the US labor force but less than 15% of engineers and 25% of computer scientists. These gender disparities extend across educational, class, race, and citizenship lines. Although segregated career outcomes are often attributed to men's and women's naturally distinct aspirations and abilities, the gender composition of STEM fields varies a great deal over time and across countries - often in surprising ways. This talk will explore some factors that account for the extreme segregation of many scientific and technical fields in the United States, and the actions that individuals and policymakers might take to broaden participation in STEM occupations and degree programs.

Maria Charles is a Professor of Sociology and Director of the Broom Center for Demography at the Charles PhotoUniversity of California, Santa Barbara. Her research explores gender inequalities around the world and the cultural and structural forces that sustain them in families, educational systems, and labor markets. Charles has published extensively on the phenomenon of gender segregation, most recently on woman’s underrepresentation in STEM fields globally. She is an elected member of the Sociological Research Association. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University.

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