August 23, 2022
Women make up almost 50% of the workforce in the labor market. However, it is noteworthy that the labor force of women is not evenly distributed across all occupational groups. Certain professions and positions are still strongly gendered, especially STEM professions. The gender gap in STEM fields can already be observed in school, increasing at university and culminating during later careers. Moreover, structural factors and gender stereotypes are most significant reasons for the gender gap in STEM.
According to social role theory, gender stereotypes have their origin in different power relations, which result in different social attributions to men and women. Characteristics that are necessary for understanding MINT subjects and practicing the corresponding professions are more likely to be ascribed to men from an early age. While gender stereotypes often refer to cisgender women and men, less is known about members of the LGBTQI+ community. All gender stereotypes come at a high cost to individuals, as they prevent them from realizing their potential, from developing an interest in STEM subjects to making career decisions. The social costs are equally serious because the economic and creative potential of many people remains hidden and the opportunity for innovation is limited.
The aim of this Special Issue is to present interventions that can help to break down gender stereotypes in the STEM field, in order to make a contribution to closing the gender gap to achieve the gender equality of all genders. This Special Issue invites contributions from various fields, such as psychology, pedagogy, social sciences, and communication and media sciences. Different methodological approaches (e.g., experiments, survey studies, qualitative studies, and control groups are highly encouraged where applicable) targeting different kinds of groups (e.g., pupils, teachers, students, employees, human resource managers, recruiters) in different contexts (e.g., schools, universities, business companies) are welcomed in order to cover the breadth and impact of the available interventions (e.g., role models, mentoring programs) and to show different contexts for applications.
Special Issue Information:
More information on the Special Issue and on submitting manuscripts: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/socsci/special_issues/Stereotypes_STEM