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Have you witnessed or dealt with discrimination in STEM?

We have a huge research project in our class where we need to gather information about discrimination people have faced in STEM? Whether it was when you were a student or have a full- time carrer, have you faced discrimination?

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Kris’s Answer

Thanks for your inquiry. Despite it being 2024 and society having made significant strides, discrimination remains a persistent issue. Often, people unknowingly perpetuate stereotypes and harbor expectations about others based on their outward appearance. It's a more subtle form of discrimination, but it's discrimination nonetheless.

In my own experience, as a woman in a predominantly male field - specifically, structural engineering and heavy highway construction - I've faced my fair share of discrimination. Now, with 32 years under my belt, I've amassed a plethora of personal stories. These range from instances of explicit sexual harassment to subtler forms of discrimination, such as being bypassed for promotions or new job opportunities.

There have been times when I've been mistaken for my own secretary or assumed to be the "new flag girl" at the construction site I was actually managing. The experiences are so numerous, I could likely fill a book.
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Julie’s Answer

As a female computer programmer, I've often found myself to be the only woman in a male-dominated IT department. My career in this industry spans over three decades, during which I've witnessed significant changes. In the early days, I faced challenges such as not being taken seriously, slower promotions, and at times, outright disregard, particularly when dealing with male colleagues from countries where women's rights are not highly regarded. Back then, all the top positions were held by men. I had to put in extra effort to make my presence felt. However, over the years, the situation has improved. Currently, I'm part of an organization that genuinely appreciates diversity and fosters a superior work culture. It's heartening to see that most of the executive roles in my team are now filled by women. It's a welcome change.
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Alex’s Answer

Outside of a few instances of co-workers using stereotypes in comments or jokes, I fortunately haven't received much discrimination for being Latino at IBM here in Rochester. It hasn't been a factor especially related to getting promoted or career advancement. Being a minority naturally comes with the area and in the STEM field so it's something you have to embrace as one would in life in general. With that, I'd say not to let it be a factor as to whether or not you go into this field, rather, let it be driving force to be a voice to introduce new ideas and perspectives into an environment that can benefit from having a variety of voices.

Obviously there's a difference between being a trailblazer in an area and experiencing true discrimination but I'd advise not letting the possibility of experiencing that prevent you from pursuing you dreams and passions!
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Tenchy’s Answer

I've walked this path before, particularly at the onset of my career. I found myself as the sole woman in an IT department dominated by men. I was the only one overlooked for travel opportunities. The last straw came when they decided to shift my role to finance. But that was the turning point for me, and I couldn't have been more relieved to walk out that door. Now, I'm part of a company that truly values diversity and has a far superior culture. It's a refreshing change and I couldn't be happier.
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Terra’s Answer

Yes, unfortunately, I have experienced discrimination in STEM. There have been times when I've felt like I wasn't taken seriously or given the same opportunities as my peers simply because of my gender or background. It's frustrating when your ideas are dismissed or when you're treated differently because of factors that have nothing to do with your abilities or qualifications.

I remember one instance where I was the only woman in a team project, and my suggestions were consistently ignored until a male team member suggested the same thing later on, and suddenly it was considered a great idea. It's disheartening to see how biases can play out in these situations.

There's also the subtle discrimination, like being assumed to be less knowledgeable or capable simply because of stereotypes associated with being a woman or belonging to a certain racial or ethnic group. It can make you feel like you constantly have to prove yourself just to be taken seriously.

But despite these challenges, I believe it's important to speak up and advocate for yourself and others who may be facing similar experiences. By raising awareness about discrimination and pushing for more inclusive environments in STEM, we can work towards creating a more equitable and welcoming field for everyone.
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David’s Answer

After graduating from college, I declined several job proposals, confident in my resume and with numerous opportunities on my horizon. However, I later regretted this decision when three companies rejected me based on my appearance. One company had even assigned me some tasks and provided materials to get started. But when I arrived at the main office to sign my contract, I was informed that the position was already filled. These three roles were at consulting firms where everyone wore suits or tailored outfits. Despite being appropriately dressed, my overweight physique didn't align with the companies' appearance standards.
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Sanjay’s Answer

Prejudice and bias still exist in many forms, not only in STEM fields but in virtually all other sectors. At times, these stereotypes and instances of discrimination can be quite subtle, while at other times, they can be more blatant. I am of the opinion that we need to keep spreading awareness and educating those in our communities. Additionally, companies and those who make policies should keep advocating for increased diversity in workplaces. There are no instant solutions or shortcuts to these problems, but I remain hopeful that with time, we will evolve into more understanding and respectful individuals.
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Giacomo’s Answer

I receive discrimination cause im rich
Professors arent
It was not the first or last time
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