Retail, nursing, teaching, hospitality positions—these are all jobs now falling under the relatively new term “pink collar jobs.” This phrase refers to positions traditionally held by women, but this isn’t because all women have a propensity for caregiver roles and fall into them simply due to some instinct.
Simply put, Title IX is a federal law that declares that no person shall be discriminated against based on sex in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. This law has a wide-reaching impact, covering everything from admission and recruitment to athletics and curricula. As a result, Title IX has significantly influenced gender equity in education and beyond.
The lack of women in STEM education and STEM fields and the surplus of men in these positions is known as the STEM gap. Sexist rhetoric may imply that women, particularly cisgender women, have a natural propensity for caregiver roles and do not have the instincts, intelligence, or drive to fill these positions. However, it is these arcane beliefs that feed into the cyclical nature of the STEM gap.
It starts in early childhood. Girls do not naturally prefer to play with baby dolls and kitchen sets, nor do boys naturally prefer to play with chemistry sets or toy construction equipment. Parents brought up with these old beliefs raise and influence their children to fall into these perceived and perpetuated gender roles.
Girls may lack the confidence to break into STEM roles if they grow up believing they cannot excel in these fields or if no one presents these roles to them as career opportunities. Society exacerbates this fear of a lack of ability with the existing surplus of men in STEM. So, why would you try in the first place if you are never given the tools to succeed, and those around you insist—implicitly or explicitly—that you cannot succeed? Thus, the cycle continues.
Title IX promotes gender diversity in STEM education by providing equal opportunities for women seeking to earn a STEM degree and enter a STEM career field. How so? The existence of this law encourages schools and universities to broaden their criteria for certain programs, addressing intrinsic biases. Additionally, the presence of this law discourages the perpetuation of sexist beliefs by providing legal consequences for those who do.
The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder is dedicated to upholding and protecting Title IX. Contact us if you believe your school or university has violated this indispensable law. We’ll put you in touch with a dedicated and experienced Title IX defense lawyer.