Pushing Women and People of Color Out of Science Before We Go In

September 18, 2014 5:30 PM

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Pushing Women and People of Color Out of Science Before We Go In

I am a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a materials engineer, an honors student, and a woman. I also have been told hundreds of times that I don't deserve to be where I am. MIT admissions decisions come out on 3/14 (for Pi) every year. By 8 a.m. on 3/15 everyone in my high school knew I had been accepted. Tons of people came up to congratulate that day and afterwards but seemed strangely insistent on reminding me that "it is a lot easier to get in when you are a girl because they get so many fewer female applicants."

The idea that there was some sort of quota for women would be repeated to me over and over in the coming months, and it only got worse when I went to MIT. I overheard snide comments from my peers all the time, ranging from "they are forcing black and Hispanic students who don't want to be there to g...

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