This research paper is informing why women belong in the stem field and there's no reason why it should be discouraged.

“Women Should Be Teachers”

Now more than ever computers are taking over the world.  With more technology, there's more room for jobs.  Especially in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field.  The field, which is mainly male dominated, have more women joining and the mere fact the woman are entering the STEM field throws people off.  Some people believe they're too emotional or incapable to have a job in the STEM field.  There should be no reason why women shouldn't go into the STEM field and they shouldn't be discouraged from it either.

There are a number of reasons why people believe women do not belong in the STEM field.  For one, they believe women are too emotional and can’t take criticism well.  Others fall into the traditional stereotypes of women not being in the field and just continue following the stigma.  Why break the current pattern when women can just get a more traditional job working with kids or adults?

Tim Hunt, a Nobel Prize winning biochemist, claims women are too emotional to be in the STEM field.  He says, “....that three things happen when [women] are let into the lab: ‘you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry”’ (Raymond).  This claim just isn't true; In fact, women can benefit the STEM field for a number of reasons.  When starting a new project or a new idea, it is good to have other people's advice.  Only having a male's point of view on something may stop a project from reaching its full potential. Having women can bring a new perspective to certain projects.  An example of that is, “ Surbhi Sarna of nVision is developing a technology to detect ovarian cancer and tube blockages, which would improve a century-old procedure that is painful to the patient” (Williams).  Even though there are male specialists who deal with ovarian issues, women might relate to them more.  Having a female perspective on a project can bring a new level of understanding to it.  Women also add a different energy in the workplace.  Women in the STEM field receive a lot of negative comments.  When someone tells a person, they can't do something, it can motivate him/her to want to prove that person wrong and women do just that.  In a list of challenges women faced, they “minimize the salience of gender and/or increase the salience of other identities” and they have,  “positive distinctiveness, a strategy in which individuals increase the positive view that others have about women” (Settles).  Men can try to knock women down but it won't always work.  Even though women are more emotional than men, that shouldn't be a deciding factor in whether they belong somewhere or not.

Adding to the perception that women are too emotional for the STEM field, it is also not a secret that there are more men than women in the STEM field.  In fact, it is widely known.  Because this is such an established norm, everyone follows it.  That is one of the reasons why so many women are not in the field right now.  Since the stigma is that men are more fit to be in the STEM field, people believe women should just continue going along with it.  Also, since so few women are in the field right now, “women are given different levels of encouragement; they might not be given that same push or shove because of implicit biases,” said Courtney Tanenbaum…” (Tooke).  Women shouldn’t stay out of the field just because they don't or won't receive the same attention as men do.  In fact, men don’t outnumber women individually in STEM, just as a whole.  Research done on NSF (National Science Foundation) data has shown that “we find that there is no gender difference in the biosciences, the social sciences, or mathematics, and not much of a difference in the physical sciences.  The only STEM fields in which men genuinely outnumber women are computer science and engineering” (Cummins). Women are known to be more sensitive and nurturing, which is why a lot of them have jobs like nurses and teachers.  In reality, women are as capable as men of doing any kind of job.  The mantra, “She's a woman so she can’t do this” doesn’t work anymore.  When it comes to tests, “men and women score equivalently on tests of raw IQ, with some studies showing women scoring slightly higher.  When it comes to mathematics—a core requirement for science and engineering—women score on average only 32 points lower than men on the SAT— a mere 3 percent difference” (Cummins).  A three percent difference is not much and the fact that women score better than some men show they are more qualified than men in some jobs.  Who cares about some stigma?  Some men are intimidated by women and they try to scare them out of doing something, everyone is equal to do as they please.

All around us are double standards, between men and women, the old and young and others. Society pressures genders to go into a field that's “meant” for their sex. Men do the manual, hard labor and women take care of people.  But, who says we HAVE to do that?  The reality is men, too, are going into women-dominated fields.  Nursing is an example of men entering a female-dominated field, “...despite the growing trend of an increasing demand for nurses, it’s still a profession that is largely dominated by women.  Though men are in no way barred from entering this line of work…” (Men In Nursing Entering a Predominantly Female Career Field).  It is not commonly expressed that men should not enter a female-dominated field but there's so much commotion for women entering the STEM field.  How fair is that?  There should be no judgment as to what career someone is going into, but most people are too outspoken to let their opinion go unnoticed.

Both men and women can be happy with their decisions to enter a field dominated by the opposite sex.  Still, there are so many other people who go from job to job because they are not satisfied with what they are doing.  If someone finds their passion why should they care what anyone has to say about it?  As of 2013, only thirteen percent of people enjoy going to work (McGregor).  Women should not be scared to enter into something because of a stigma.  Anyone, not just women should follow their passion and love what they do.  A gender or race is just a label.  It does not determine someone's capability to complete a job, therefore it shouldn't matter what anyone's race, gender, or beliefs are.

There is no reason why women should not enter the STEM field.  They are just as capable or even better than men to complete a job.  It’s time to get rid of the stigma that women should be nurses, teachers, or something the involves a nurturing role.  Even though women are more emotional than men they can bring a different perspective to a project.  Women also receive a lot of negative feedback regarding the STEM field, but lets face it, women are going to continue joining the STEM field and nothing can be changed about that.


Works Cited

Cummins, Denise. "Why the STEM Gender Gap Is Overblown." PBS. PBS, 17 Apr. 2015. Web. Accessed 09 Jan. 2017

McGregor, Jena. "Only 13 Percent of People Worldwide Actually like Going to Work."The

Washington Post. WP Company, 10 Oct. 2013.  Web.

-worldwide-actually-like-going-to-work/?utm_term=.421f3270ffad.  Accessed 09 Jan.


Raymond, Laurel. "Even With Hard Evidence Of Gender Bias In STEM Fields, Men Don't

Believe It's Real." ThinkProgress. ThinkProgress, 23 Sept. 2016. Web.

believe-it-s-real-a600e06a5375#.vmq9wtr09. Accessed 09 Jan. 2017

Settles, Isis H. "Women in STEM: Challenges and Determinants of Success and

Well-being."Pardon Our Interruption. N.p., Oct. 2014. Web. Accessed 09 Jan. 2017

Van Tooke, Robert Patrick. "Social Stigma Shows in STEM Fields." The Daily Californian. N.p.,

06 Oct. 2014. Web. Accessed 09 Jan. 2017

Williams, Sue. "Why We Need Women in STEM." N.p., 18 Aug. 2014. Web. Accessed 09 Jan. 2017


"Men In Nursing Entering a Predominantly Female Career Field." N.p., 17 Dec.

2013. Web.  Accessed 09 Jan. 2017

"Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)." Women in Science,

Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) | CAREERwise Education. N.p., n.d. Web. Accessed 09 Jan. 2017

Submitted: April 12, 2017

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Fleur Petersen

I completely agree with you. Women shouldn't be denied jobs just because people think too much about the stereotypes.

Mon, May 22nd, 2017 6:01pm

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