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the gap between men and women studying math and engineeringMany more men than women choose to study maths and engineering. Why is this?
A lot of efforts have been made to narrow the gender gap in fields of science and engineering. However, women remain underrepresented in these domains. This pipeline problem could be ascribed to sex discrimination and the lack of female role models in STEM careers.
The prolonged beliefs of each sex's roles and abilities have generated wide gender disparity in disciplines relating to science. Since an early age, people have exposed to perceptions that males are better than females at STEM subjects and women are not suitable for working in these majors. Without counter-intervention, boys and girls would gradually develop their own self-efficacy based on these conventional stereotypes. A lot of women believe that they are less competent at math and science. Most of them then avoid STEM and opt for subjects traditionally associated with females. It is gender discrimination that has been preventing women from pursuing science.
Moreover, the world still lacks female role models in science and engineering areas. Men have been dominating science-related fields for decades while women has accounted for a small proportion of the workforce in engineering and math fields. This, in the first place, has fortified the idea that females' opportunities of success in STEM majors are scarce. Thus, girls often feel less motivated than boys to study science and math as girls find it hard to relate themselves to these disciplines. Also, there are not many role models of their gender who women can follow in science path. This view has been discouraging women from taking up math and engineering.
In conclusion, the gap between men and women studying math and engineering has been created by the society old-fashioned gender norms underestimating females' capabilities. Coupled with this, it is the lack of female scientists that has prevented women from taking STEM subjects.