Vine Forest

It’s not just in STEM: Sexism outside of work holds scientists back

Sexism in STEM is rampant; you don’t need me to tell you that. From 113 pages of sexual assault/harassment allegations (U of R, 2017) to the Google engineer memo (also 2017), there are dozens of examples each year of sexism inside STEM environments. But it isn’t just the sexism that women experience in their fields – at conferences, in the office/lab, etc. – that makes it harder for women to succeed in STEM. Misogyny and sexism outside of the workplace can also negatively impact women’s performance at work, and thus the progress of their career and their science. How do two things, seemingly happening in different spheres, overlap?

Meet Meghan Barrett, a cognitive ecologist and science communicator who got her start by singing to bees!

Meghan Barrett is a Ph.D. student at Drexel University, studying cognitive ecology in a variety of arthropods. She earned her B.S. in Biology and English/Creative Writing at SUNY Geneseo in Upstate New York, where she first bowled for bees. Her senior thesis was on the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer; she has also studied intracolony relatedness in Formica pergandei and caste differences in the brains of paper wasps. In her free time, she enjoys science communication, particularly through poetry, plays, and narrative non-fiction, and learning about evidence-based teaching for undergraduate STEM education.