GenTIC is organizing the Seminar “Gendered pathways towards STEM and coping responses to academic sexism”, taking place on 1 October 2018 in Barcelona. The event, open to the academic community and the general public, will address the importance and impact of sexism on the motivations and academic interests of young people throughout secondary education and in the choice of university studies. In particular, the results of the ESTEREO project and other recent studies analyzing the lack of attraction of adolescents and young people for scientific and technological studies and professions (STEM) will be presented.

The seminar will feature interventions by Katariina Salmela-Aro, Full Professor of psychology at the University of Helsinki (Finland) and Chair of the Personality and Work Psychology Sector at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), and Milagros Sáinz, senior researcher of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and director of the GenTIC research group.

Salmela-Aro will present the results of a research carried out in Finland with 1,259 people, which examined how work values predict individual and gender differences in STEM participation in early adulthood (ages 25-27). Results identified four profiles based on work values: money, career prospects, family and society-focused young people. Work-value profiles predicted young adults actual STEM participation in two fields: math-intensive fields and life science occupations. Work-value profiles differentiated between those who entered support vs. professional level STEM jobs, and gender differences in work-value profiles partially explained the differential representation of women across STEM sub-disciplines and the overall underrepresentation of women in STEM fields

On the other hand, Milagros Sáinz will elaborate on the conclusions of one of the studies carried out within the ESTEREO project, which has analyzed gender differences in a group of high school students in Spain while coping with events of academic sexism. Facing sexist contexts involves stressful situations that may have a negative impact on several academic indicators, such as, for instance, the reduction of satisfaction in academic pursuits or the lowering of academic confidence. The results of the study show, among other aspects, that boys are more likely to use maladaptive coping strategies focused on avoidance and withdrawal, while girls tend to show a more proactive style when facing sexism, with strategies like confrontation and help-seeking.


10:00 – 10:15  Welcome and opening by Pastora Martínez, UOC’s Vice President for  Globalization and Cooperation.

10:15 – 11:15  Conference: Gendered pathways to STEM. Katariina Salmela-Aro (University of Helsinki, Finland).

11:15 – 11:30  Break

11:30 – 12:30  Conference: Gender differences in coping with sexist beliefs. Milagros Sáinz (Director of Gender & ICT research group, UOC).

12:30 – 13:00 Questions & Closing


Date: 1 October 2018
Venue: Espai Francesca Bonnemaison (Sala La Cuina). Sant Pere Més Baix, 7. Barcelona


This seminar will be held in English. Free attendance by sending an email to:


This event is organized by the Gender and ICT research group with the support of the project ESTEREO (“Challenges to the persistence of gender roles and stereotypes in the choice of higher education studies from a longitudinal approach. The role of families and teachers”, FEM2014-55096-R, Principal Investigator: Milagros Sáinz), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

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