Workshop Toolkit

Filmmaker's Note

How To Use the Toolkit

Effective Use of the Film

Schools and Nonprofits

Young Women




Action Toolkit

Workshop Toolkit
Evaluation Tools

a project of Media Working Group


Workshop Toolkit

professionals and advocates


Inspiring professional women and other stake-holders to serve as role models and improve the STEM opportunities for the next generation


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did you know?
Women scientists who have at least one child early in their careers are 24% less likely to achieve tenure than men who have early babies. The majority of women who achieve tenure have no children in their households at any point after earning their PhDs.7

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This section contains strategies for using The Gender Chip Project with professional women and others who can support and advocate on behalf of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and math. Suggestions for using the film include:

  • Show the film at a meeting of your professional association or organize a networking event around it. Discuss participants’ challenges and triumphs in their careers, and who supported them along the way. Set up a resource table with information about volunteer opportunities with local STEM programs for girls.
    • Host a brown-bag at your workplace and use the film to spark interest in your company’s community involvement program.
    • Screen the film as part of a program focused on work and family. Invite scholars and advocates to speak on a panel and take part in a conversation about changing the culture of STEM professions and companies.
    • Use the film to prompt discussion about women and STEM at your college or university. “Grade” your institution on how well it is doing to support female students and faculty in STEM departments and make recommendations for improvement.
    • Host a house party/screening to raise money and recruit volunteers for your favorite STEM nonprofit or scholarship program. Invite young female program participants to speak about what they have gained from their involvement.
    . . . .

    did you know?
    In 2003 Blacks, Hispanics and American Indians constituted only 7% of the total science and engineering workforce. 8

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    Convene representatives from local foundations and corporate giving programs to screen the film, learn more about girls and STEM and discuss strategies for making the most impact with their dollars.
discussion questions
  • Name some of the factors that led you to pursue a career in STEM. What sacrifices have you made along the way? What about your education and career have you found the most satisfying?
  • . . . .

    did you know?
    In 1997, men’s median salaries in science and engineering jobs were $52,000. Women’s median salaries in the same category were $36,000 – a $16,000 gap.9

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    Amanda mentions her mother, a nurse, as one of her inspirations for her pursuit of a career in medicine. Anna talks about the teacher who encouraged her to stick with math. Which adult had the most influence on your decision to follow a career in STEM?
  • What are some of the hidden barriers to women’s and minorities’ pursuit of and success in STEM?
  • Of all the STEM sectors, engineering has the most trouble retaining women and minorities, with women of color being the least represented. On the other hand, women now comprise a majority of medical students. Based on your experience, what do you think accounts for the success or failure of STEM fields to become more diverse?
  • In the last segment of the film, many of the young women are hopeful about the future and their ability to “have it all.” What do you think will surprise them most once they begin a job or graduate school? What are your hopes for the next generation of STEM professionals, in both academia and industry?
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  • American Association of University Women
    National research and advocacy organization promoting education and equity for women and girls. Website has publications for download such as Tech Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age.
  • Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
    Mission to increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology and to increase the positive impact of technology on women worldwide. Partners with corporations, universities and government agencies to deliver programs that change the world for women and technology.
  • The Gender Chip Project
  • Intel Computer Clubhouse Network
    Founded in 1993 by the Museum of Science in Boston and the MIT Media Laboratory, the Network now boasts 90 clubhouses around the world. Clubhouses have many volunteer opportunities for professionals.
  • Level Playing Field
    Promotes fairness and equity in education and the workplace through advocacy, research and academic programs and scholarships for underrepresented groups. Website has publications for download including Underrepresented Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
  • MentorNet
    E-mentoring network targeting women and other underrepresented groups in STEM. Recruits professionals to provide email-based mentoring to community college, undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs and untenured faculty pursuing careers in industry, government and academia.
  • National Center for Women & Information Technology
    Collaborative effort among colleges, universities, individuals, nonprofits, industry and government to ensure women’s full representation in information technology and computing. Website lists numerous ways to get involved.
  • . . . .

    did you know?
    Women of color in the science and engineering workforce in 1999:
    Asian/Asian American: 2.6 %
    Black/African American: 1.3%
    Hispanic/Latina: 1%10

    . . .
    National Women of Color Annual Awards Conference
    Annual conference held since 1995 to celebrate women of color’s achievements and connect minority women in technology careers with mentors and employers.
  • WomensMedia.com – The Site for Working Women
    Online resources to help women advance in their careers. Sponsors the project, Computers Are for Girls, which focuses on girls through age 10.
  • Work and Family Institute
    Nonprofit research center that provides data to inform decision-making on the changing workforce, changing families and changing communities. Website includes research summaries and advice for employers and employees.

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