Gender Bias in STEM Careers, April 14
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Gender Bias in STEM Careers, April 14

Outnumbering men in undergraduate enrollment but less likely than men to major in mathematics or science or pursue a career in those fields, women often fall victim to negative sex-based stereotypes within science, technology, engineering and math careers, according to Dr. Ernesto Reuben of Columbia University. Along with a panel of female professionals working in STEM fields, Dr. Reuben will discuss this very topic in the “Gender Bias in STEM Careers: What’s the Real Deal” forum on Thursday, April 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the multimedia room of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library. 

An assistant professor in the Management Division of Columbia’s Business School, Dr. Reuben has done extensive research in behavioral economics, focusing specifically on the source and enforcement of social norms as well as how behavioral biases affect discrimination. His interest in discrimination is best exemplified in his 2014 work entitled, “How Stereotypes Impair Women’s Careers in Science,” the research Dr. Reuben will discuss when he headlines the forum. This study found that while male and female candidates performed equally well on an arithmetic test, “both male and female subjects are twice more likely to hire a man than a woman.” 

Dr. Reuben’s address will kick off the forum, which will be followed by two sets of concurrent breakout sessions led by current female professionals working in STEM fields. One panelist is Annie Corbett ’09, a senior data analyst for AKQA, a digital marketing agency that has worked with companies such as Nike and Tidal. Stephanie Fernandez ’01, a clinical health psychology resident in Connecticut’s VA healthcare system, will also be a panelist. 

Others include Bhavna Godhania, a director of global strategic partnerships with mobile and web accessibility company Usablenet, Inc.; Lisa Sawin, Yale University’s director of user experience and digital strategy; Napaporn Slattery, an innovation manager for household care products at Sun Products Corporation; and Heather Yeo, an assistant professor of surgery and healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University’s biomedical research unit and medical school. 

Co-sponsored by the Science Institute of the College of Arts & Sciences, the Mathematics Department, Sigma Xi and the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, event coordinator and associate professor of Mathematics Dr. Janet Striuli said she believes the forum will be insightful for all those in attendance. 

“Students in particular need to be aware of what challenges they are going to face and they need to reflect on how they can overcome them,” said Dr. Striuli. 

Hoping to generate a campus-wide discussion from this panel, Dr. Striuli said that discourse on the topic will not be short-lived. 

“We want to start a conversation that it is based on data and from there, listen to personal experiences of successful women. Hopefully this is the start of a longer conversation that will involve several disciplines in the gender studies.” 

For more information about the forum, please contact Dr. Janet Striuli at

By Nicole Funaro '17

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Last modified: Fri, 08 Apr 2016 08:38:50 EDT

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