Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

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June 23, 2016

Study suggests grouping women working within disproportionately male fields — such as IT —may position them for greater success.

graduationThe tale is well known and disconcerting: Women do not pursue STEM careers —science, technology, engineering and math — at the same rates as men. Only 18 percent of engineering majors in college are women.

Why is that? A researcher at the University of Massachusetts, psychologist Nilanjana Dasgupta, conducted a social experiment to try to find out. National Public Radio’s social science correspondent, Shankar Vedantum, featured the study on a recent episode of “Morning Edition.”

One takeaway Dasgupta took from her study is that tech companies or engineering schools should consider pooling women into work groups, rather than spreading them out across the entire organization. Women who experience professional camaraderie with their gender peers seem more likely to persevere than when they are the “token” females.

The Creating IT Futures Foundation — the philanthropic arm of CompTIA — recently took this approach when it sponsored a women-only IT-Ready class. You can read more about that groundbreaking experience here.