Exploring Gender Bias in Austrian Education: Seeing What Students are Exposed to

Lucija Krusic*, Barbara Schuppler, Martin Hagmüller, Simone Kopeinik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


With the rapid development of technology and science, the STEM job market has significantly expanded, while the gender gap in STEM is still a constant issue.
Numerous studies and educational interventions have been explored to better understand and regulate this phenomenon, so far showing only limited success. This might be partly attributed to the complexity of the problem. From very early on, individuals are exposed to stereotypical gender roles that remain ubiquitous in societal structures. Thus, individuals might experience stereotype threat and fear of confirming the existing stereotype, which can be overcome through exposure to positive role models. This paper examines two types of materials that young students are exposed
to before and at the time of choosing a course of study: EFL textbooks used in Austria and marketing material of Austrian Universities. We hypothesise that these materials,
amongst others, impact students in their attitudes towards STEM. We report stereotypical representations of gender roles and careers in the analysed textbooks.
University marketing material on the other hand, shows significant overrepresentation of female students while at the same time lacking diversity in terms of gender representation. These results indicate that students are exposed to stereotyped ideas
about gender and careers from an early age on. While universities are making efforts to design gender-responsive marketing materials, aspects of diversity are still lacking.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings of the STS Conference Graz 2021
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Issues in Science, Technology‚ and Society Studies
EditorsNicki Lisa Cole, Michaela Jahrbacher, Günter Getzinger
Place of PublicationGraz
PublisherVerlag der Technischen Universität Graz
Pages243- 262
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-85125-855-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event19th STS Conference: Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies: STS 2021 - Graz, Austria
Duration: 3 May 20215 May 2021


Conference19th STS Conference: Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies
Abbreviated titleSTS 2021
Internet address


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