Do female motives for enrolling vary according to STEM profile?
Rights accessOpen Access
Contribution: Stereotypes and immediate environment are the reasons for low enrollment of women in STEM studies. Background: The low number of women in STEM degree courses has been the subject of much research, which has found that the lack of female enrollment is not evenly distributed across all STEM studies. In some areas, such as computing, communications, and electrical and electronic engineering (CCEEE), not only has the number of women not increased, it has even fallen. Research Questions: Is there a stereotype for women taking STEM studies? Is this stereotype different between women taking CCEEE and non-CCEEE degrees? What are the main reasons that lead women to enroll in STEM studies? Methodology: A survey was sent to 3699 female students and STEM graduates belonging to the authors’ university in six schools with a lowest level of enrollment, and 1060 replies were received. A qualitative study based on data analysis triangulation was performed. Findings: The women surveyed consider social stereotypes (31.47%) and the immediate environment (14.5%) as the main reasons for the low enrollment of women in STEM studies. Surprisingly, the third reason (11.03%) is that women do not like engineering. New knowledge concerning what motivates female students to enroll in STEM studies, what stereotypes they must struggle against, and the existence of possible differences between CCEEE and STEM but non-CCEEE female students could help policy makers and academia to improve female enrollment in STEM and, in particular, in CCEEE studies.
CitationOlmedo, N., Sanchez, F., Salan, N., Lopez, D., Perez-Poch, A., Lopez, M. Do female motives for enrolling vary according to STEM profile?. "IEEE transactions on education", 16 Abril 2018, vol. 61, issue 4, p. 289-297.
- Departament d'Arquitectura de Computadors - Articles de revista 
- Departament d’Enginyeria Gràfica i de Disseny - Articles de revista 
- Departament de Ciència dels Materials i Enginyeria Metal·lúrgica - Articles de revista 
- ICE - Institut de Ciències de l’Educació - Articles de revista 
- Departament d'Estadística i Investigació Operativa - Articles de revista 
- BCN SEER - Barcelona Science and Engineering Education Research Group - Articles de revista 
All rights reserved. This work is protected by the corresponding intellectual and industrial property rights. Without prejudice to any existing legal exemptions, reproduction, distribution, public communication or transformation of this work are prohibited without permission of the copyright holder