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Gender Equality in STEM: Exploring Self-Efficacy Through Gender Awareness

TitleGender Equality in STEM: Exploring Self-Efficacy Through Gender Awareness
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsDi Tullio I
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Start Page226
Date Published10/2019
PublisherPadova University Press
Place Published Padova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsgender equality, gender-based discrimination, self-efficacy, STEM field

The aim of this article is to explore how and if, gender awareness affects self-efficacy among women scientists in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Women scientists in STEM, due to their underrepresentation, embody a critical point for the whole research system. This is broadly considered as the result of cultural embedded unconscious bias that affects female professional career paths and strongly interacts with the role identity and self-efficacy. This is true also among research organisations, which indirectly reproduce the traditional job role division considering women closer to family-care responsibilities and men more suitable in performing at high-level positions. Traditional culture, seen as male-centred, defines particular ways of doing science as well as particular ways of doing gender. Gender awareness is considered as one of the powerful instrument to overcome traditional unconscious bias and stereotypes and to get away with the discriminatory attitudes and abuse of power. A qualitative case study carried out on female researchers in STEM working at the Italian National Research Council provides findings about the relation between gender awareness and self-efficacy. In this paper some evidences from the CNR case study are provided as well as a conceptual attempt classification of gender-based discrimination.