The Pursuit of Equity-ness

The thing about equity is that it’s not the same as equality; a common misconception.

Image result for equity vs equality

I feel when we talk about equity in a field, people often construe that means “let’s give everyone the same thing” as opposed to “let’s give everyone what they need to have a level playing field.” So now that’s out of the way, let’s look at the STEM field.

Image result for stem


-According to a study conducted by Dr. Marsh Matys,

-In 1989, only 2.5% of engineering students were women

-Only 9.6% of mathematics students were women

-Only a fifth (20%) of all science degrees were handed to women

Similarly, a study for the 2013-2014 academic year netted these results

Figure 24.2. Percentage of total and STEM bachelor's degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity and gender: Academic year 2013–14

These show us that they’re is still a somewhat significant gap between men and women interests in STEM. Why do these exist when women make up half the population? Similar studies also paint a similar picture with race. There is often a substantial margin between Pacific Islanders and White and Black and Hispanic.

So now we know about these unfair trends, how can we go about fixing them as teachers?

  1. Take the Implicit Bias test. A lot of studies suggest women and minorities constantly drop from specific STEM fields that do not hold individuals within their group. Being aware and actively confronting biases can help your students feel more comfortable in the subject to develop interest.
  2. Allow students to speak openly without fear of disrespect. By creating an open atmosphere and having a growth mindset, students will not be easily turned off in the classroom.
  3. Celebrate the wins. Big or little, any student accomplishing a goal, is a BIG deal.

Be sure to use these tips in your everyday STEM encouragement, that’s how we as teachers can help this issue.


  1. Great post! I really like the graphic you chose because it does a really good job of showing that there still is a really big gap. I also love your idea about taking the implicit bias test because a lot of people don’t even realize that they may be biased and this could be really beneficial especially for teachers. I also like your point about celebrating the wins regardless of how big or small they are. Sometimes, all a student needs is just a little encouragement to have them go a long way. How can you personally show that you are committed to helping close this gap between men, women, and minorities?

    • Thank you for your pleasant words and ideas! Personally. I’d say standing up is a huge piece and being able to advocate against prejudices as well as articulating the issue in order to start the conversation. While I am no pro talking about this topic, constantly learning about it goes a long way.

  2. Wyatt,
    I really loved your blog post! I especially like the statistics that you had and the distinction you made in the beginning between equity and equality! Also your ideas for what we can do as teachers are amazing! How would you suggest we celebrate wins? All around great post!!

    • Thanks Bryce! By having these concepts being an ongoing conversation, I’d say celebrating can take many forms. I’d say the biggest key is to never let the right behavior go unnoticed. Simple “I see you”‘s or any phrase of equal meaning can go a long way!

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