Colloquium Series: Jacquelynne Eccles

Sep. 3, 2015 – Sep. 3, 2015
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Psych 121

Gender and STEMM

On average, women and men continue to pick different occupations and different specialities within the spectrum of STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, and the medical/health sciences). Why? Answering this question has been the focus of many scholars and educators over the last 40 years.  In this talk, Dr. Eccles will summarize her 40 years of research on this topic.  She will present a theoretical model that she and her colleagues developed to guide their research program and summarize the findings from 2 of their longitudinal studies that followed American youth from either first grade or sixth grade through ages 35 and 45. Each data set has extensive information about the participants' self-related motivational beliefs and occupational aspirations, gender-role-related beliefs and values, school achievement, and experiences at home and in their science and math courses.  In both studies, gender differences in educational and occupational choices are entirely mediated by gendered beliefs and values. Furthermore, sex differences in occupational aspiration are well established by grade 6, suggesting that interventions designed to broaden the occupational aspirations of both girls and boys need to start during the elementary school years.