Education

A study of 100,000 women in the US suggests that women from higher-ranked colleges who have children are 8% less likely to work than women graduating from lower-ranked schools. And women with MBAs were 30% less likely.
Having good language skills means that women may be less likely to pursue jobs in science and technology because verbal skills may give them more career options according to new research shows.

The benefits of going to a women’s college are well-documented. Many of America's most powerful and accomplished women have attended single-sex schools. VITAMIN W has created a guide to the most prominent women’s colleges, which we will update yearly.

A new study from the Pew Social & Demographic Trends project finds that a record number of U.S. households now owes student loan debt. Written by Richard Fry, the report found that about 19 percent of households carried debt in 2010 -- a significant increase over previous years. Indeed, two decades ago, that number was almost half, and even as recently as 2007 the percentage was significantly lower, at 15 percent.
"The Iranian government should immediately reverse policies that place unnecessary restrictions on academic freedom for university students, in particular women," according to Human Rights Watch. "The measures include bans on female and male enrollment in specific academic fields in many universities, but with the greatest number of restrictions on women. They also include quotas that limit the percentage of women students in certain fields of study, and segregation in classrooms and facilities."
Released in time for back-to-school season, a new report from the Center for Health, Environment & Justice finds that some school supplies contain hidden toxic chemicals that are linked to asthma and birth defects. The report, Hidden Hazards: Toxic Chemicals Inside Children’s Vinyl Back-to-School Supplies, found chemicals that have been banned from children's toys in many vinyl school supplies. In fact, some 75 percent of the vinyl school supplies examined contained "elevated levels of toxic phthalates."

A new video released by the European Commission, “Science: It’s a Girl Thing!”, is meant to encourage girls to consider careers in the natural and physical sciences, presenting science, as the title suggests, as an area compatible with femininity and other “girl things” — make-up, high heels, and fashion. The video has been roundly criticized, both for presenting a stereotyped image of girls and for misrepresenting the scientific workplace (one female scientist Tweeted wondering what will happen to any girls possibly drawn in by this campaign when they learn that in many labs, open-toed heels violate safety codes).

"[N]ew research might have an explanation" for the persistent gender gap in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields: "The messages we take in about our gender—like the old refrain that girls aren’t as good as boys at science–can influence the way we perform." writes Maggie Severns at Slate. According to new research, "Telling a boy he’s destined to be good at math might encourage him to coast; meanwhile, telling a girl that girls aren’t good at math...will not motivate her to work hard to overcome that adversity."

An infographic from the website College.com examines the fact that in higher education these days, it's a woman's world. By 2019, there will be nearly three female students for every two male students in college, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The graphic postulates that this will be a problem for male employment down the line, since unemployment rates are higher for people without college degrees. View the full infographic after the jump.

Over the decades we have seen movies, cartoons, stories and shows based on the notorious and stereotypical perfect mean girls. These movies show them almost everywhere, in locker rooms, malls, middle schools, and most high schools. Mean girls aren’t as common as they were 10 years ago, but they still do exist even if we don’t notice them. Mean girls are among us all; we see them among our friends, our cliques, our sports teams and mutual friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter.

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