Xingyu Alice Kathmandu Li
Understanding the Global Gender Gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement with Agent-Based Simulation and Online Social-Psychological Interventions
2017 CSS Fellowship
Despite educators and researchers’ concerted efforts, a gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields continues to persist across the globe. Overall, girls take fewer STEM courses relative to boys, and women acquire fewer Ph.D. degrees and occupy fewer tenure-track positions in STEM higher education institutions than men. Previous studies have extensively examined how micro-level factors (such as personal traits and classroom cues) affect girls’ and boys’, women’s and men’s STEM preference, yet little is known about how macro-level, sociocultural contexts (such as individualistic or collectivistic cultures) shape preference development, especially for large populations over time. Using big data, agent-based simulation and mass online experimenting platforms, this research brings a sociocultural perspective in understanding causes of gender gap in STEM engagement and challenges previous biology- and trait-based explanations.