Ashley Martin - Blind to Bias: The Benefits of Gender-Blindness for STEM Stereotyping
Abstract: Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. As such, there has been an increased interest in interventions to reduce bias against, and increase inclusion of, women in STEM. In this paper, we compare and contrast two commonly used strategies: awareness and blindness. We demonstrate that gender-blindness—a diversity ideology that advocates for downplaying gender differences, rather than embracing them—has the potential to diminish stereotyping of women in STEM fields. In six total studies, we show that men who believe, or are primed with, gender-blindness (compared to gender-awareness) are less likely to endorse gender stereotypes around women’s STEM competencies. By measuring (Study 1) and manipulating (Studies 2-5) gender- blindness, we show that gender-blindness (compared to awareness) minimizes the gender gap on explicit stereotyping measures, as well as diminishes STEM stereotyping in target evaluations. Across six studies, we show the influence of diversity ideologies on stereotyping of women in STEM.
Bio: Ashley Martin is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She received her PhD in Management from Columbia Business School. Her research focuses on the challenges and benefits associated with gender and racial diversity in organizations. Specifically, she examines how to most effectively discuss gender and race in an effort to reduce bias, empower underrepresented groups, and improve intergroup relations.
About the Equity & Inclusion Seminars:
The Equity and Inclusion seminars are intended to disseminate information and spark discussion amongst all members of the physics community on topics related to building a more equitable and inclusive department. All are welcome to join in respectful and engaging conversation at our seminars. For more information about the Equity and Inclusion committee please visit: https://physics.stanford.edu/equity-and-inclusion