“What priceless treasures of human potential are being lost to science because men in positions of power are unzippering their libidinal urges?” asks the excellent article, The Sexism Problem, by female scientist Margaret Wertheim.
As a college freshman, I, myself, was interested in STEM fields. I took calculus, physics, logic design, chemistry. I had excelled in these areas in high school and taken extra STEM electives. I learned too late that an academic advisor had signed me up for remedial physics instead of the physics classes needed to advance further in the sciences. All of my college courses were taught by men. My classes ranged from majority male students to almost 100% male students. I definitely…. stood out.
Since my environment and the people who surround me are important to me, and I was unable to feel comfortable in the STEM classrooms, I looked for fields with more women and less obvious discrimination. I drifted to languages and helping professions.
I am so happy to have an education in languages and social work, but I always will wonder what would have happened if my initial interests had met with a welcoming environment.