Monday, December 2, 2019
Addressing Stereotypes: Recruiting and Retaining Women in STEM
Stereotypes can undermine performance without a particular person embodying the stereotype, and actually stereotyping people. This stereotype threat occurs when people are in a situation where a negative identity-based stereotype can be applied to their performance. This type of threat has been demonstrated to undermine women's performance in STEM in the university environment. In this plenary talk, I will discuss what we've learned in social psychology about creating the right type of environment where the pressure of stereotypes do not exist, and women can succeed in that environment in ways that actually speak to their actual true potential, which can help women thrive in STEM. Changing the university environment to support this shift means addressing the stereotypes at multiple levels, with multiple different audiences. This includes creating more inclusive, diverse environments in which women are more likely to succeed and thrive, and provide women with tools to help deal with the stereotypes in the environment that can impair their performance.
Snacks and beverages will be served before the plenary starting at 10:00 am.
Women in Engineering: Improving Performance and the Environment
In this workshop, I will describe how research and theorizing on social identity threat was utilized to develop interventions designed to improve women’s performance in engineering. In one intervention we provided women with strategies for coping with social identity threat that led to changes in their friendship networks and improved their performance. Despite the success of this intervention we felt an important piece of improving women’s performance was missing: reducing social identity threat in the environment. The first intervention allowed women to cope with social identity threat, but did not reduce it. In a second intervention we developed ways to change men’s attitudes toward and respect for their female peers. This intervention promises to not only give women strategies for coping with social identity threat, but also actually lowers social identity threat in the environment.