Females in male dominated fields may be contributing to discussion up to 75% less than their male counterparts.
An August study by scholars at Brigham Young, Princeton and Portland State universities found that in male dominated workplaces females are less likely to speak their opinions.
While the study pertains directly to women in the workplace, many programs at Humber College have a high number of male students compared to their female ones.
Denise Devlin-Li, Dean of Humber College’s School of Applied Technology thinks the study’s findings would relate to Humber students.
“I know myself from my own experience in engineering,” said Devlin-Li, “you do not tend to speak up as much. That’s why it’s important to have faculty to kind of encourage all of the students to participate. Especially the women.”
The study placed men and women into groups of five and measured their participation levels in discussion. It found that in the groups of four men to one woman, each male spoke an average of 9% more than the woman. Whereas in the groups of four women to one man, each woman only spoke an average of 2% more than the man.
These numbers relate only to majority rules discussions but it does lead one of believe that female students outnumbered by their male counterparts may be keeping mum and not getting the most out of their education.
“It depends on the background,” said Devlin-Li. “a lot of our students have previous education and previous experience so in that case they’re going to have much more of a tendency to really get as much education.”
Jessica Chatten, 19, is in her second year of the Funeral Services program. She described her program as having primarily female students.
“I think that the men speak the same amount as the females do,” said Chatten. “We all are equal and talk the same amount.”
Chatten also said that she personally has never felt uneasy speaking in any setting.
“I’m a fairly comfortable person,” said Chatten. “I can speak wherever.”