Status of undergraduate women at MIT

Wow this is an eye-opening report! Very important to discussions of women in STEM fields and the gap between actual performance and confidence.

“Despite their successes in academics, research and leadership, females at MIT report being less confident than their male peers. Freshman female students are less likely to agree that they are a “capable student, at least on an equal plane with others”1, 4 (Fig. 1). By senior year, survey responses indicate a substantially greater decrease for females than for males. This suggests that MIT has a negative effect on the confidence of female students. Additionally, females are significantly more likely to believe that “others do not think [they] belong at MIT.”4

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One Response to Status of undergraduate women at MIT

  1. zephani says:

    STEM fields have historically been male-dominated and, knowing this, I feel like women are often intimidated to venture into these fields. With such great contrasts in representation, women are more likely to feel like the “odd woman out” thereby leading to a decline in self confidence. Given that women perform just as well as men, I wonder if informing women that they are just as capable as men would have any affect on their responses on their own self confidence.

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