Don't Tell Larry Summers
Megan O'Rourke summarizes some new research indicating that women may be reluctant to enter some traditionally male-dominated fields in part because they're so . . . male dominated:
A new study published by Psychological Science of undergraduate women majoring in math, science, and engineering found fresh evidence that cues of gender-imbalance negatively affect not only women's performance but their desire to perform. (The study was conducted by Claude Steele and others.) In the study, some women watched a gender-balanced video about an upcoming conference in their field, while others watched a similar video in which male speakers outnumbered female. The participants who watched the latter video "reported a lower sense of belonging and less desire to participate in the conference, than did women who viewed the gender-balanced video."
That makes a lot of sense. More at the bottom of this article. Read the original paper (I'll admit that I haven't) in PDF here.