Christianne Corbett, a senior researcher at the American Association of University Women (AAUW), will be the keynote speaker at Entomology 2011, the 59th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA).Her speech will take place during the opening Plenary Session on Sunday, November 13, 2011.
An important subtheme of Entomology 2011 is “Entomology and Social Responsibility,” an area where ESA President Delfosse feels there is an important nexus of science and society, and one issue of particular visibility is the dominance of white males in elected leadership positions in ESA. Ms. Corbett's presentation, "Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," will address these issues.
In an era when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business, why are there so few women scientists, especially in more senior positions? This presentation will describe recent research findings that point to environmental and social barriers –- including stereotypes, gender bias and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities -– that continue to block women’s participation and progress in science, technology, engineering, and math. The presentation will provide insight into the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in organizations like the ESA where women make up a large percentage of the membership but are much more rare among the elected leaders, and it will offer ideas for what each of us can do to more fully open scientific and engineering fields to girls and women at every level.
Before coming to AAUW, Ms. Corbett worked as a legislative fellow in the office of Rep. Carolyn Maloney and as a mechanical design engineer in the aerospace industry. She holds a master's degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a bachelor's degrees in aerospace engineering and government from the University of Notre Dame. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana from 1992 to 1994, she taught math and science to secondary school students. She is the author of "Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," a research report that presents in-depth yet accessible profiles of eight key research findings that point to why there are so few women in the higher levels of math and science.