The Iron Maidens, a FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team from Apple Valley High School. Photography by Andrew Miller/Sun ThisWeek.
High School STEM Winners A team of Apple Valley girls, who refer to themselves as "Iron Maidens," recently returned from the High School Robotic World Championships - featuring 40,000 students - where they won the "Connect" award for their strong outreach efforts to promote girls in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. The team is advocating in Washington, D.C. for more national STEM funding.
At the National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium, Mankato student Ester Archer placed second in the environment category with her research and presentation about "Reducing phosphorus in stormwater basins using algae spherification."
Source: CBS and Minnesota Academy of Science
Compiled by Mikki Morrissette
Why women change jobs Women job hop increasingly more often than men, according to Linked In analysts, and it's not simply because of sexual harassment, as an "Elephant in the Valley" study indicates. A Society of Women Engineers study found that women have less tolerance for unfair practices that inhibit their ability to achieve excellence. Female leaders also have reported that companies focus on short-term items such as cost reduction, hierarchy and resource constraints, rather than accountability, balance, mentoring and empowerment. A report by Deloitte found that half of millennial women felt they were being overlooked and were dissatisfied.
Source: Fast Company
Paid period leave One in 10 women's menstrual cramps are so severe, research says, that it disrupts daily life. Endometriosis also causes severe pelvic pain. A few countries have implemented paid period leave. Several Asian countries have some policies in place, including Japan, which has had leave since 1947. A company in England became a first there. But there are drawbacks, and many women don't take the leave offered. In Indonesia, a physical exam must be performed before the women can leave work. Some suggest that education needs to happen so managers realize there is not a correlation between physical pain and emotional instability.
Female officers less violent In recent months, a male police officer in Texas was fired after body slamming a 12-year-old girl to the ground in her classroom and a male officer tossed a South Carolina female student across the room. Reports consistently show that female officers use their weapons at far lower rates than men and are more effective at negotiating tense situations for less lethal outcomes.
Since 2002, with roughly 88 percent of the U.S. police force men, studies show that male officers are 8.5 times more likely than female counterparts to face charges of excessive force and to discharge their weapons.
Source: Women's E-news
The Hollywood bias The diversity problem in Hollywood has stronger data. Polygraph analyzed the scripts for 2,000 films. Research found that women have more dialogue in only 22 percent of the films. It complements other informal data, such as the Bechdel Test, where films pass if they feature two women talking to each other about something other than men. Other reports have indicated that only 30 percent of speaking characters in Hollywood's 500 top-grossing films are women, that cutting all white people out of blockbusters makes films less than 60 seconds long, and men outnumber women five to one in the industry.
Sources: Polygraph, Bitchmedia and Feministing