Feeling Represented

In the article Persistence of women and minorities in STEM field majors: Is it the school that matters? author Amanda L. Griffith claims that one of the main reasons women are not very well represented in fields of STEM has to do with the lack of role models they see on a daily basis while in undergraduate education. Many schools go out of t
eir way to attract and recruit talented and bright young women into their schools and STEM majors; however, that effort goes to waste if the student feels discouraged and drops her STEM major. One of the most effect ways the author found in keeping students in 6a3375d-kingston-university-a9f0ea7-stemteachernetworkSTEM was by having some of their TA be female. By having a Female TA it shows the young female undergraduate students that not only is it possible to graduate like that TAs have, but also to go to graduate school like they are currently doing. This article is very important to include in our upcoming essays about underrepresented
groups in STEM,  for it shows the importance and impact of one feeling represented within a group where they are the minority.


The Media: Women in STEM

Two shows that come to mind that female scientist stereotypes are both reinforced and challenged. In the TV show “Big Bang Theory” currently there are two female scientists that reinforced typical stereotypes. Both women are white and are in the life science fields (often called the soft sciences) while their love interests are scientist in the physical sciences (hard sciences) who have achieved great recognition and accolades career wise, the women are portrayed plugging away in their respective labs with little recognition.

One character named Amy is a Neurobiologist who is portrayed as someone who never before had a “real” boyfriend. Her current paramour is a narcissistic man-child who loves trains and video games but is a world-renowned physicist who video chats with Stephen Hawkins. Her character reinforces one of the main stereotypes of the frumpy unattractive 576nerdy girl who has chosen science as a career and is willing to settle for a less than suitable mate out of desperation.

The other Character is Bernadette, who is cute tiny but extremely bossy scientist specializing in Pharmaceuticals development. She is brash and sometimes unfiltered and nags and bosses her husband around, although she has a high pitched squeaky voice she radiates masculine energy pretty much scaring everyone around her. The scientific work of either women is never shown to be important or groundbreaking, just merely mentioned as a side joke or used for a gag for the show.

In another show called “Lucifer” currently there is a character who challenges typical stereo is named Ella Lopez who is a smart, attractive and tough Latina forensic scientist. Although a supporting character, her character is growing in presence because she continues to surprise the entire cast with a very complex and realistic portrayal of a scientist that is both cool, street smart, thoroughly knowledgeable about popular culture and multiple fielucifer-sdcc-ellalds of sciences other than just Forensics Science which makes her such an asset to the police department. She is logical but is also spiritual and willing to accept the things she cannot explain based on faith. In this way, she is more realistic since so many scientists are devout while being faithful to scientific methodology.