Steminism 101 

Advocacy, 

allyship,

& Leadership

since 1982 

 INEQUALITY IN 

  STEM

Implicit Bias

Likability bias

 

The "glass escalator"

"the advantages that men receive in the so-called women’s professions (nursing, teaching, librarianship, and social work), including the assumption that they are better suited than women for leadership positions"

Christine Williams, THE GLASS ESCALATOR

The glass escalator

The likeability bias

How Women Can Escape the Likability Trap

"women who display traditional 'masculine' qualities such as assertiveness, forcefulness, and ambition are labeled as 'bitchy', unfeminine and aggressive, and hence generally disliked."

FOLK THEORY:  assumed to be common sense, shaped by sociocultural forces

 

IMPLICIT BIAS: "attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report"

 

STEREOTYPE THREAT: "a situational predicament in which people are or feel themselves to be at risk of conforming to stereotypes"

Taryn Stokowski, 2020

FOLK THEORY:  assumed to be common sense, shaped by sociocultural forces

 

IMPLICIT BIAS: "attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report"

 

STEREOTYPE THREAT: "a situational predicament in which people are or feel themselves to be at risk of conforming to stereotypes"

Email me your questions / concerns about the content on this page

Untitled-Project%20(3)_edited.jpg

What does this look like?

Other professors, men

Full professors, women

Full professors, men

Other professors, women

ONLY 11%

OF PROFESSORS

IN THE FACULTY OF ENGINEERING ARE WOMEN

UNDERGRAD

GRAD

FACULTY

50%

35%

20%

IVORY CEILING:

IN THE FACULTY OF SCIENCE, THE

HIGHER THE POSITION THE FEWER WOMEN

THE IVORY CEILING OF SERVICE WORK, 2011

 THE BASICS 

Key Feminist concepts

Intersectionality

The "heterosexual matrix"

Standpoint theory

Standpoint theory

posits that social location impacts how one 'knows', and what they know. "People at the bottom of social hierarchies have a unique standpoint that is a better starting point for scholarship".

The Heterosexual Matrix: prescriptive model based on the assumption that heterosexuality is the 'default' and necessitates men and women be opposites

SEX

GENDER EXPRESSION

GENDER IDENTITY

SEXUAL DESIRE

 MALE 

 FEMALE 

 MASCULINITY 

 FEMININITY 

 MAN 

 WOMAN 

 FOR MEN 

 FOR WOMEN 

 OTHER 

 OTHER / MIX 

 OTHER 

 OTHER 

Judith Butler, GENDER TROUBLE

"acceptable"

"unacceptable"

Intersectionality

"Multi-level analyses that link individual experiences to broader structures and systems are crucial for revealing how power relations are shaped and experienced."

"inequities are never the result of single, distinct factors. Rather, they are the outcome of intersections of different social locations, power relations and experiences."

Olena Hankivsky, INTERSECTIONALITY 101

Women of colour experience racism and sexism in an INTEGRATED way (i.e. NOT just the "sum" of racism + sexism)

What other factors "intersect" to affect people's access to power?

Intersectionality

Newspaper Comic

"Objectivity"

 EPISTEMOLOGY 

How do we know what we know?

Epistemologies of ignorance

The file drawer phenomenon

"Objectivity"

Systematic Inequality

Epistemologies of ignorance

"an examination of the complex phenomena of ignorance, which has as its aim identifying different forms of ignorance, examining how they are produced and sustained, and what role they play in knowledge practices."

 Why are some stories suppressed, why are others not "worth" researching?

Shannon Sullivan , & Nancy Tuana, RACE AND EPISTEMOLOGIES OF IGNORANCE

"The File Drawer Phenomenon"

How does this impact society? Why does this phenomenon happen?

The file drawer effect: A call for meticulous methodology and tolerance for non-significant results (2017)

"the practice of tucking away negative/neutral/statistically non-significant research findings into ‘file drawers’"

"Objectivity"

Are scientists "disinterested spectators" that only report facts?

 

If science is "value-free", how do we decide which science should inform policy decisions?

Heather E. Douglas., SCIENCE, POLICY, AND THE VALUE-FREE IDEAL

PRACTICING BETTER SCIENCE

1. Acknowledge that knowledge is constantly EVOLVING

2. SELF-REFLEXIVITY: what assumptions do you hold towards X topic, what is your frame of reference?

3. What might be LEFT OUT? (marginalized groups underrepresented, contradictory data not supplied)

4. How was SAMPLING for X conducted? (could people have been exploited? how well does this sample reflect the diversity of the population?)

5. How might X results be produced and interpreted differently in DIFFERENT CONTEXTS (cultures & social locations)? (were marginalized stakeholders consulted? what values inform the interpretations?)

6. To what extent can X findings be GENERALIZED(is there enough data to support this conclusion? is extrapolation reasonable?)

7. What MOTIVATED the production of X knowledge? (potential conflicts of interest? "justifying" oppressive practices?) 

Controversy: Should Puerto Rican women have known they were involved in a birth control trial?

"an examination of the complex phenomena of ignorance, which has as its aim identifying different forms of ignorance, examining how they are produced and sustained, and what role they play in knowledge practices."

 Why are some stories suppressed, why are others not "worth" researching?

Shannon Sullivan , & Nancy Tuana, RACE AND EPISTEMOLOGIES OF IGNORANCE

Pessimistic realism: How do we reconcile our current understandings with the fact that our past models were wrong?

"an examination of the complex phenomena of ignorance, which has as its aim identifying different forms of ignorance, examining how they are produced and sustained, and what role they play in knowledge practices."

 Why are some stories suppressed, why are others not "worth" researching?

Shannon Sullivan , & Nancy Tuana, RACE AND EPISTEMOLOGIES OF IGNORANCE

Statistical rules: appropriate analysis? reproducibility? support in other literature?

Shannon Sullivan , & Nancy Tuana, RACE AND EPISTEMOLOGIES OF IGNORANCE

What counts as a conflict of interest?