The portrayal of jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in US entertainment media offers mixed messages to girls and women. This is the conclusion of an analysis by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a non-profit organization supported by Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, California, and the Lyda Hill Foundation, a private science funder in Dallas, Texas.
The longitudinal study examined STEM characters in film and television and found that the media largely reinforces the narrative that scientists are white men. Male STEM characters outnumber female ones by 62.9% to 37.1%, and most STEM characters — 71.2% — are white. The study also found that films and television shows perpetuate the myth that some scientific disciplines are inappropriate for women. For example, compared with men, there are fewer female physical scientists (6.4% to 11.8%), computer scientists (8.6% to 11.5%) and engineers (2.4% compared to 13.7%) on the screen.