Date of Award

Winter 4-29-2015

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Abstract

This paper focuses on the urgent need to increase female representation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and the media’s influence on society’s view of women in STEM fields. Historically, women have held stereotypically maternal roles and have had less access to employment opportunities in STEM fields. Today, we have a shortage of women in these types of careers. STEM fields offer high paying and intellectually rewarding careers. Women bring varied experiences to the table, and can offer a fresh perspective on the problems our scientists and engineers are attempting to solve. The media influences society’s view of women in STEM. This thesis analyzes how women are portrayed on the popular comedy shows Silicon Valley and The Big Bang Theory. Both shows portray women as being either ditzy or as plot devices. In order to remedy the issue of misrepresentation of women in STEM fields, I suggest that the United States government offer tax breaks to television studios that gather input from real women in STEM before creating their television series.

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