Yes, but I want to be careful of that classification.
Vidya Narayanan
958

We have to remember, though, that all STEM fields don’t really grab the eye of the majority of people out there as a career choice. Most STEM jobs are repetitive, and very boring, overall. So while there are more men in STEM fields in college and such, when you look at the overall enrollment, all STEM classes have not only the lowest enrollment at any non-STEM focused college or university, but ALSO the highest drop out/major switching rate at those same colleges. So, they’re already not very highly enrolled in, but their retention rate to graduation is exceptionally small, overall. This goes for both men and women.

I’m a tech lover. I love my phone, PC, consoles, TV, etc. However, I’m not one who could bear to sit through engineering courses, or programming courses. I love to use tech, I don’t love making it or the programs that run it. And I think you’ll find there’s a far bigger pool of people out there, like me, over those who love designing circuit boards, writing code, etc. STEM jobs appeal to a certain kind of person. That kind of person is rare in the population. That there happens to be more men who become that person doesn’t mean that only men will go for them; but it does mean that even though there are few men who like these types of jobs, there are even fewer women who do.

It’s not going to be able to come down to just saying “The lack of interest partly stems from hostile environments in college and environmental factors.” Because, truthfully, it’s not just that. You have to factor in that the jobs are incessantly boring and monotonous drives men and women from them before they even get to them (IE taking courses in college). There’s a reason that many engineers — mechanical, chemical, software, etc. — seem to be introverted and possibly on the autism spectrum… because those are the types of people drawn to these boring jobs that can actually enjoy them, long term. Saying “we should do X to get Y into tech” isn’t going to really work as long as the jobs remain monotonous and boring.

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