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Exploring the effects of an identity-safe cue within a gender bias literacy intervention aimed at tackling the underrepresentation of STEM women in academia

Baldo, Chiara (2020) Exploring the effects of an identity-safe cue within a gender bias literacy intervention aimed at tackling the underrepresentation of STEM women in academia.

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Abstract:Gender bias leading to the favourable treatment of men over women contributes to the underrepresentation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). This can be tackled through gender bias literacy interventions aimed at increasing awareness of gender bias. Nevertheless, augmented awareness may elicit unintended detrimental consequences. For instance, prompting women to become aware of the stereotype connected to their stigmatised identities and the fact that their behaviours may be personally reduced to such stereotype leads to long-term disidentification with STEM. Furthermore, interventions may fail to foster women’s belief that they can thrive in spite of sexism and to provide them with strategies to overcome obstacles resulting from their identities. Therefore, interventions need to include identity-safe cues suggesting that women are valued in STEM while providing them with tools to challenge discrimination. The current research investigates the effects of an identity-safe cue on 30 STEM women (divided into three subgroups) at a Dutch technical university within a gender bias literacy intervention. The research question is: What are the effects of the identity-safe cue on awareness of gender bias, belonging and trust, stereotype threat concerns, general negative affect, growth mindset about bias reduction and self-efficacy beliefs to tackle gender bias among STEM women in academia following exposure to a Virtual Reality Intervention for Diversity in STEM? The study, which relied on a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest quantitative design, showed that the ISC was effective in significantly addressing awareness of gender bias, stereotype threat concerns and self-efficacy beliefs. In contrast, belonging and trust, general negative affect and growth mindset were not significantly impacted. Moreover, findings suggest the ISC’s effectiveness varied based on the subgroup of reference.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/80894
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