March 20, 2013

Fewer Women Pursue Jobs in Science Because They Have More Career Options

Pitt study shows women are less likely to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) because of higher verbal scores

Women may be less likely to pursue careers in science—not because they have less ability—but because they have more career choices, according to a University of Pittsburgh study published today in Psychological Science.

Although the gender gap in mathematics has narrowed in recent decades between males and females, women are still less likely to pursue STEM careers than their male counterparts. Together with colleagues at the University of Michigan, the Pitt research team investigated whether differences in overall patterns of math and verbal ability might play a role.