Women in STEM
Diversity in Science
Gender Inequality in STEM Fields
Nilanjana "Buju" Dasgupta is a nationally recognized expert on diversifying academia.
Her research spotlights how implicit bias influences people’s first impressions and behavior toward others, as well as how implicit stereotypes influence individuals’ own academic and professional choices.
Dasgupta is particularly interested in identifying solutions that remedy implicit bias. Her recent research identifies solutions that can reduce the impact of implicit bias on gender gaps in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and career opportunities thereby closing gender gaps iand broadening participation of diverse individuals in STEM.
Yale University: Ph.D., Social Psychology
Yale University: M.Phil, Social Psychology
Yale University: M.S., Social Psychology
Smith College: A.B., Psychology
Select Media Coverage (6)
Why a ‘near peer’ can be the best kind of mentor
The Boston Globe Magazine online
A girl who wants to build a business or design a skyscraper shouldn’t find her goal harder to reach than a boy with the same ambitions. A society that values equality shouldn’t allow half of its population to be vastly underrepresented in the highest levels and fastest growing sectors of its workforce, says Nilanjana Dasgupta, principal investigator of the Implicit Social Cognition Lab at UMass Amherst. “We should care because, to the extent that we believe in equal opportunity for all, making sure that the people in this country are represented in the careers of the present and the future is the right thing to do,” she says.
How to Get More Women Into Technology
The Wall Street Journal print
Nilanjana Dasgupta is quoted in an article about efforts to draw more women into STEM fields, and the obstacles they face. “The obstacles are not about ability,” she says. “It’s more about there are some things that are impeding girls’ interest and confidence that they’re good at it.”
Picture a leader. Is she a woman?
The Seattle Times
When we “process information through the lens of stereotype” our interpretation may be “consistent with stereotyped expectations rather than objective reality,” said Nilanjana Dasgupta, a professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences at University of Massachusetts at Amherst...
How Women Mentors Make a Difference in Engineering
Nilanjana Dasgupta, from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, thinks that mentors—people who can give advice, share experiences, or make social connections—can dismantle the gauntlet, and help young women to find their place in an often hostile field...
Rather than chalking the low numbers of women in STEM fields to differences in ability or interest, Nilanjana Dasgupta, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, says it's likely due to a sense of not belonging. "The prototype of success in tech is very male, so I think those stereotypes get in the way of women feeling that this is the field for them," Dasgupta tells Vedantam...
Majority of Dartmouth engineering degrees given to women – a first in the country
For example, Prof. Nilanjana Dasgupta of UMass Amherst has run experiments with small workgroups that found when female engineering students were the only woman in the group, they were far less likely to be interested in pursuing the problem – even though none of them identified gender imbalance as being part of their decision-making. “The prototype of success in tech is very male. Those stereotypes get in the way of women feeling this is the field for them. … You start to de-identify or move away from fields and hang out more in other fields, where your friends are,” Dasgupta said on the NPR program Morning Edition...
Select Publications (3)
To Make Science and Engineering More Diverse, Make Research Socially RelevantIssues in Science and Technology
Imagine two high school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—STEM—competitions: one where teams are challenged to build a hurdle-jumping robot, and one where teams build a robotic arm for people with disabilities. What differences might you expect? Not only will the materials and assessments differ, but more importantly, so will the people who choose to join one contest or the other.
Female peer mentors early in college have lasting positive impacts on female engineering students that persist beyond graduationNature
Deborah J. Wu, Kelsey C. Thiem and Nilanjana Dasgupta
Expanding the talent pipeline of students from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM has been a priority in the United States for decades. However, potential solutions to increase the number of such students in STEM academic pathways, measured using longitudinal randomized controlled trials in real-world contexts, have been limited.
How educators can enourage students to stay in STEM fieldsFast Company
First-generation college students are twice as likely to leave college without earning a bachelor’s degree than students whose parents have college degrees. My team and I combined a cocktail of ingredients to create a strong social vaccine to protect this group of young people.