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Child Care and STEM Fields Are Called Barriers to Women at 2-Year Colleges

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A chemistry doctoral student at Yale plays with her baby daughter at home.

A new report from the American Association of University women recommends new policies and procedures are needed to compensate for the gender stereotypes that help disssuade young women from pursuing STEM careers.

Credit: Jessica Hill/AP

Gender stereotypes that discourage women from pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are one of the biggest barriers holding them back in community colleges, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women.

The report recommends policies and practices such as more aggressive efforts to steer women into relatively well-paying STEM fields.

The report notes that women accounted for 57 percent of community-college students in 2010. More than 4 million women attend two-year colleges, which is more than the number of women who are undergraduates at either public or private four-year colleges.

Aside from gender stereotypes, the report blames a lack of information and support for women's underrepresentation in STEM fields. The report also says more affordable and convenient child care would benefit female students.

From Chronicle of Higher Education
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