Role Modeling can have a large effect on women from a young age.
Negative Results from a lack of Role Modeling over the Years:
- Students evaluate the number of female professors in a program, and any lack of female presence within the classroom is a deterrent for many female students to join that program.
- There is also something to be said about a women’s performance, when surrounded by a group of women rather than a group of men: research has shown that American women performed worse on a math test when they believed they were the sole woman completing it among a group of men, compared to when they thought they were completing it among other women.
Positive Results from Role Modeling:
- A positive climate which includes exposure and access to women who are currently in science relation careers can help steer and open young women up to careers in STEM fields.
- Girls have a chance to see that there are women who are successful in STEM fields, especially in times where they might be discouraged to continue.
- Having parents, teachers or strong female figures in the sciences can influence girls to purse a similar career.
- Programs such as Techsploration offer girls an opportunity to have access and surround themselves with role models within the STEM fields
Stories of Real-Life Role Models in the Sciences:
Lydia Villa-Komaro, Scientist, highlights the women in her family as the first role models in her life. Watch her story below:
For Melanie Matchett Wood, it was a female teacher that she describes as her role model. Watch her story below and see how she can be a role model for many young women today: