- “It is commonly assumed that female role models improve women’s beliefs that they can
be successful in STEM” (Cheryan and al., 2011).
- “Role models are often promoted as influential sources of advice and information about
various career possibilities. They may come in the shape of likeable tutors from university
mathematics departments, enthusiastic and knowledgeable media commentators on
STEM issues or fictional forensic crime experts in TV shows”, “(…) role models (…) help
students picture themselves in STEM careers. Role models may also help in reducing
another cost identified in the literature: the geek label and other negative characteristics
associated with students choosing STEM” (Bøe and al., 2011).
- “Role models are defined by their ability to inspire, to serve as figures that others look to
in the hope of achieving similar success. To be inspiring, however, the role model’s
success must seem plausible and attainable” (Betz, 2013).
- “Science teachers began to include career awareness as part of the curriculum to assist
in building role models that are connected to the content. An example of this would be to
have female guest speakers”, (Koch and Wardjiman, 2011).
- Moreover various academic research reveals that “contact with same-sex experts
(advanced peers, professionals, professors) in environments involving science,
technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enhances women’s self-concept in
STEM, attitudes toward STEM, and motivation to pursue STEM careers. Two crosssectional
controlled experiments and 1 longitudinal naturalistic study in a calculus class
revealed that exposure to female STEM experts promoted positive implicit attitudes and
stronger implicit identification with STEM (Studies 1-3), greater self-efficacy in STEM
(Study 3), and more effort on STEM tests (Study 1) “ (Stout, Dasgupta, Hunsinger;
McManus (2011). STEMing the tide: Using ingroup experts to inoculate women’s selfconcept
in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 100(2), 255-270)
- “There are many possible factors contributing to the discrepancy of women and men in
STEM jobs, including: a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less familyfriendly
flexibility in the STEM fields.” (Beede, Julian, Langdon, McKittrick, Khan, Doms
(2011). Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation; Economics and Statistics
Administration Issue Brief 04-11)