Title: Exploring How Academic Performance Influences Female’s Choice of STEM Field in China: A Mediating Effect at Psychological and Cultural Levels
Stream: Chinese Studies
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Ye Tao, BNU-HKBU United International College, China
The underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields is an important challenge in many countries. The particularity of Chinese culture has led to a low proportion of women choosing STEM in higher education. This study aims to explore why women choose STEM and how to encourage women to enter these fields. According to Hofstede's theory, using self-efficacy, family and social expectations, and Occupational rate of return as the mediator. Combining Questionnaires and focus group interviews. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze data of 800 first-to Fourth-grade college female students in STEM, this study finds the three mediators are all positively related to STEM fields choice. In Chinese culture, due to the low level of equality between men and women, there is a phenomenon that women are instilled in STEM that only men are more suitable. Because of the low development of social welfare in China's employment environment, women will choose higher-paying STEM fields because they value salary and job stability. STEM's employment requirements in China are less affected by family and class than in fields such as art and literature, making it easier for women from ordinary families to find jobs. Influenced by the culture of engineers advocating in Chinese culture, many Chinese elders believed that, compared with majors such as art and literature, studying science and engineering and becoming an engineer is practical and stable. In future research, factors such as individual strengths should be considered.
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