EDITORIAL: Surpassing STEM’s Gender Limitations: Structures, Interventions, and Systems Change

Lara Perez-Felkner

Abstract


This editorial introduces the first of two International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology special issues, focused on research that emerged from the Network Gender & STEM conference, centering on a re-imagining of “who does STEM,” and featured scholars from an array of disciplines and perspectives from around the globe. This re-imagining serves a critical purpose, to develop a vision for a less gender-typed present and future that identifies challenges, tests pathways through them, and forges a theoretically- and empirically-grounded path through the decades ahead. Can we be innovative in science and technology while furthering the education and career advancement of women of all backgrounds in these fields? This set of issues collectively furthers the response: yes, we can. Over the course of the issue, the argument is also made that systemic changes to reconfigure the powerful status quo need to be part of the work towards gender equity and socially just societies that position those of any gender as able and ready to do and in fact excel in STEM disciplines. Importantly, the scholarship produced in this issue is not limited to gender alone, but considers to varying degrees how power and inequality across identities and contexts can intersect with gender and compound its effects. From early education through adulthood, gender shapes how humans interface with science and technology. Therefore, some discussion of gender beyond the binary is undertaken, particularly in the latter manuscripts. These manuscripts individually and as a set advance the conversation around what can be done across education and society to achieve gender equity in STEM.

 


Keywords


STEM education, inequality, feminist science, intersectionality, educational interventions, STEM teaching

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