Bridging the Gender Gap in STEM: Celebrating Women’s Contributions 


In attribution to this year’s International Women’s Day, in this blog, we would like to shed light into the pervasive gender gap within the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), while also acknowledging the invaluable contributions of women throughout history and today. This blog aims to highlight some of the challenges for women in STEM fields and their contributions regardless of those hardships.  

For decades, STEM domains have largely been male dominated, presenting women with challenging barriers such as rooted stereotypes, biases, and lack of representation and mentorship opportunities as well as inhospitable workplace cultures.  

Underrepresentation and stereotypes 

From a young age, girls are less likely to envision themselves pursuing careers in STEM fields. In several studies, when children were asked to draw a mathematician or scientist, girls were twice as likely to draw men as they were to draw women, while boys almost universally drew men, often in a lab coat. (Berwick, 2019; Singh, 2020) Moreover, both boys and girls tend to associate math more strongly with boys than with girls, even in the absence of concrete evidence. (Charlesworth and Banaji, 2018) 

These studies reveal the critical aspect of the gender gap in STEM: the pervasive underrepresentation of women, both in the media and within the field itself. Moreover, this underrepresentation extends beyond imagination into tangible disparities within the STEM workforce.  

The gender gap in STEM begins to be exemplified early, with middle school-aged boys expressing a significantly higher inclination toward science or engineering-related careers compared to girls (Charlesworth and Banaji, 2018; Singh, 2020). Hence, these discrepancies persist through high school, particularly evident in courses such as computer science and engineering. Gender bias and stereotype threats exacerbate these disparities, perpetuating inequalities within the STEM workforce for women. 

Gender In-equality 

A study by the World Bank (2021) reveals that gender equality is not an accomplishment of this generation or the next, estimating that it will take over 99 years to achieve full gender parity globally if current trends persist.

When women scientists embark on and persevere in STEM professions, they often encounter a significant wage gap compared to their male counterparts. Despite their equal dedication and contributions, female scientists frequently face unequal economic compensation within STEM careers. (Charlesworth and Banaji, 2018) This disparity not only undermines their financial security but also reflects broader systemic inequalities within the field. Hence, closing the wage gap is imperative for promoting gender equity and ensuring that female scientists receive fair recognition and reward for their valuable work. 

Inhospitable Workplace Culture 

For women employed in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) roles, the professional landscape often presents a distinct and at times unwelcoming atmosphere compared to their male counterparts. Instances of discrimination and sexual harassment are commonly observed to be higher, with gender being viewed as a barrier rather than a boon to achieving career advancement (Funk and Parker, 2018). 

Women Empowerment and their Significant Contributions 

However, amidst these challenges, there is cause for optimism. The increasing presence of women in traditionally male dominated STEM fields indicates a transformative shift. From engineering to computer science, women are leaving an indelible mark, challenging stereotypes, and reshaping the narrative. Initiatives like Girls Who Code and Women in Engineering have been instrumental in fostering this progress, providing vital support networks and empowerment opportunities. 

Moreover, women have been instrumental in propelling innovation and achieving groundbreaking discoveries across STEM disciplines. Historical Figures like Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, and Marie Curie, a trailblazing physicist and chemist, have spearheaded scientific breakthroughs throughout history.  

Ada Lovelace, widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer, foresaw the potential of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, envisioning its capabilities beyond mere calculation. Her pioneering work laid the groundwork for modern computing and continues to inspire generations of technologists. Similarly, Marie Curie’s trailblazing research in physics and chemistry, particularly her groundbreaking work on radioactivity, earned her two Nobel Prizes and established her as one of the most influential scientists of all time. Her relentless pursuit of scientific inquiry and unwavering dedication to her craft serve as a testament to the power of perseverance and intellect. 

Today, women continue to lead the charge in fields such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and space exploration, pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and technological advancement, despite challenges. 

Here at Brandenburg Labs, women are at the forefront of creating the next generation of immersive audio technology for headphones. Through their expertise and dedication to research and development, they are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, revolutionizing the way we experience sound and setting new standards for excellence in the industry.

Closing the Gender Gap in STEM 

Closing the gender gap in STEM demands a multifaceted approach. It begins with challenging stereotypes and fostering diversity and inclusivity in educational and professional environments. Providing mentorship and vigorous support networks for women in STEM is imperative for nurturing their success and retention in these fields. 

Furthermore, enacting policies and initiatives aimed at eradicating gender bias and promoting equitable opportunities can help level the playing field. Encouraging young girls to pursue STEM education from an early age and equipping them with the requisite resources and support is fundamental for constructing a more inclusive and equitable future. 


Berwick, C. (2019, March 12). Keeping Girls in STEM: 3 Barriers, 3 Solutions. Edutopia. 
Charlesworth, T., & Banaji, M. R. (2019). Gender in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Issues, Causes, Solutions. The Journal of neuroscience: the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 39(37), 7228–7243. 
Devadas, S., & Kim, Y. E. (2021, November 19). Exploring the Potential of Gender Parity to Promote Economic Growth (No. 39). World Bank Group. 
Funk, C. & Parker, K. (2018, January 9). Women and Men in STEM Often at Odds Over Workplace Equity. Pew Research Center: Social & Demographic Trends. 
Singh, I. (2020). By the Numbers: Women in STEM: What do the statistics reveal about ongoing gender disparities? Yale Scientific. Retrieved from