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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering


pages 243-253

WOMEN'S CONFIDENCE IN SCIENCE: PROBLEMATIC NOTIONS AROUND YOUNG WOMEN'S CAREER AND LIFE CHOICES

Anne-Marie Weidler Kubanek
Department of Chemistry, John Abbott College, P.O. Box 2000, Ste-Anne-De-Bellevue. Quebec, H9X 3L9, Canada
Margaret Waller
Department of Sociology, John Abbott College, P.O. Box 2000, Ste-Anne-De-Bellevue. Quebec, H9X 3L9, Canada

ABSTRACT

The purpose of our study is to explore issues and events that encourage or discourage women from pursuing studies in science, matters that may affect their confidence in themselves and their confidence in science as a possible career. In this article, we will focus on how young women approached their career decisions, as discerned from over 100 hours of interviews with 40 female college science students. The mixed societal messages they received created tension as they pondered their career choices. We present these contradictory messages as six problematic notions, and suggest a new focus for the debate on women's underrepresentation in science.