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Women continue to be underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), which has implications not only for individual women and their families but also for the productivity of society.  This literature review examines psychological factors over the course of development that contribute to the ongoing underrepresentation of women in these fields.  It discusses how parents and educators inadvertently communicate dissuading messages to girls about their relative math and science abilities and interests, how stereotypes become internalized by both girls and boys and negatively affect performance, how beliefs about intelligence and the nature of STEM careers discourage women and girls, and how the features of STEM careers can make it difficult for successful women to persist in the field.

STEM Review

“Through hard work and determination, many of the obstacles that kept young women out of the sciences have been slowly removed or diminished. However, our work is far from complete. Overcoming the psychological barriers to the sciences for girls and women is necessary because girls and women are the future of STEM.”

– Dr. Justin LaManna
Alverno College