Women in Science: Bridging the Gender Gap

Nov. 1, 2018

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) - It’s a group of academic disciplines and professions that have historically been male-dominated. In 2017, women held 47% of all jobs in the US, but only 24% of STEM jobs. As a result, we are lacking the perspectives of women in fields that contribute heavily to our progress as a society.

On the podcast today, NBT Scientific Director Megan Roberts is talking with Elizabeth Nance, PhD, and Brianna Stubbs, PhD, scientists leading teams of researchers in the areas of biotechnology and physiology. The trio talk about the unique aspects of being women in scientific fields, including the importance of allies and mentors, imposter syndrome, and identifying your own biases.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Elizabeth Nance and Brianna Stubbs:

[00:00:23] Elizabeth's STEM-Talk podcast.

[00:00:49] Previous podcasts: Elizabeth: Nanotechnology: The Big Impact of Tiny Particles; Brianna: World Champion Rower and Ketone Monoester Researcher Brianna Stubbs; The D-BHB Ketone Monoester Is Here.

[00:01:08] HVMN.

[00:03:01] Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

[00:09:50] Positive Discrimination

[00:12:59] Nature vs nurture; causes of women’s underrepresentation in science. Studies: Ceci, Stephen J., and Wendy M. Williams. "Understanding current causes of women's underrepresentation in science." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2011): 201014871, and Cheryan, Sapna, et al. "Why are some STEM fields more gender balanced than others?." Psychological Bulletin 143.1 (2017): 1.

[00:15:57] Freakonomics Podcast: What Can Uber Teach Us About the Gender Pay Gap?

[00:18:36] Chemical engineering: 30% women.

[00:21:57] Mentorship.

[00:22:53] Prof. Kieran Clarke, University of Oxford.

[00:23:36] #MeToo Movement.

[00:24:28] Allies in the workplace.

[00:25:25] Service to the department.

[00:29:00] Diversity and mentorship.

[00:31:01] Fluid mentor/mentee roles and boundaries.

[00:34:05] Women in Chemical Engineering.

[00:37:37] Gender differences in mentoring.

[00:40:44] Work-life balance.

[00:47:02] Judgment and criticism from others.

[00:50:29] Parenting.

[00:56:44] Letting the work speak for itself vs. focusing on minority status.

[01:00:22] Book: Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Issues of Our Time), by Claude M. Steele.

[01:00:26] Self-fulfilling effect of stereotypes.

[01:05:35] Imposter syndrome.

[01:12:15] Embracing failure.

[01:14:27] University of Washington Resilience Lab.

[01:17:15] Being a catalyst for progress.

[01:17:17] Conscious use of language. Article: Letters of recommendation for women more likely to raise doubts.

[01:25:52] Defining success.

[01:28:36] Brene Brown Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame.

[01:29:04] Book: How Successful Women Think: It's All In The Mind, by Latrell King.

[01:30:00] Additional articles: 1. These labs are remarkably diverse — here’s why they’re winning at science; 2. 4 Ways Women Can Build Relationships When They Feel Excluded at Work; 3. The uncomfortable question powerful women should answer; 4. Where Women Must Defy the Odds to Become Scientists; 5. These are the 10 best and worst states for women.

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