New Academic Study Finds Small Numbers of Women Portraying STEM Characters in Television and Film

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and the Lyda Hill Foundation have recently conducted a study on the portrayals of women in STEM fields in television and film. The researchers found that stereotypes of women in STEM fields are still very prevalent in the entertainment industry today. According to the study, 62.9 percent of STEM professionals portrayed in media are men. The percentage of women portrayed in STEM fields in television and movies has not improved in the last 10 years, according to the study.

In addition to the gender gap in STEM portrayals on screen, the study found that young girls are influenced by the way women are represented in media. The researchers found that 82.7 percent of girls and women thought it was important to see women in STEM professions in television and film, even though women appear as only 37.1 percent of actors in STEM roles.

The researchers also found that women are much more likely to have a STEM career if they know other women in STEM, have STEM women role models, or are encouraged to pursue STEM careers by friends and family. Additionally, the study found that one in three girls have considered a career in STEM, but only one in four said they will actually pursue a creeer in these fields.

The full report “Portray Her: Representations of Women STEM Characters in Media” can be read here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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