References to White men – such as Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel – still dominate in science textbooks and curriculum. While textbooks are becoming more diverse, at the current pace it will take years for textbook mentions to align with who is actually studying science: 28 years for women, 50 years for Asians, 30 years for Hispanics, and up to 500 years for mentions of Blacks.39
This is important as many girls attribute their career aspirations to women role models,40 especially in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Young women who are exposed to women scientists, engineers, programmers, coders, and technologists are more likely to
• Receive better grades in STEM classes
• Pursue STEM careers
• Have more confidence in their skills
Seeing women in these jobs also affects the way that boys view what kinds of careers and jobs are suited to women. Since many girls tend to see women’s career success in “non-traditional” fields as a matter of luck, rather than something possible to achieve with commitment and focus, it is important that all children read about or actually meet women role models who discuss in detail their individual journey, including the challenges they have faced and overcome.
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