CareerWISE in the News

Association for Women in Science (AWIS) (Spring 2011)
CareerWISE: The Power of You”

If you are in pursuit of a doctorate in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), chances are that somewhere along that rocky doctoral road, you are going to come face-to-face with a pothole. The solution to what academic life brings your way, however, is right in front of you: YOU -- with a little help from CareerWISE.

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AWIS Website

Science Careers (June 10, 2011)
“Mind Matters: Resilience”

Educational Institutions need to play a greater role, too, in helping trainees adapt to stress and build resilience. An innovative example is the CareerWISE Resiliency Training Program at Arizona State University, which provides interactive online resources to support female graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics Ph.D. programs.

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Nature (November 10, 2010)
“Website to help women: Arizona initiative offers support to female doctoral students”

The site seeks to help women develop coping strategies, says project leader Bianca Bernstein, an ASU psychologist. Her research on discrimination among female graduate students who felt unable to seek support from colleagues helped inspire the site. Two National Science Foundation grants totaling US$3.2 million funded the site.

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Science Magazine/MySciNet (December 3, 2010)
“Taken for Granted: Choosing Between Science and Caring?”

In November, for example, Arizona State University (ASU) launched CareerWISE, an innovative Web site that provides interactive tools and resources as well as strategies and encouragement for women pursuing physical science Ph.D.s. Supported by the National Science Foundation and based on extensive research into women scientists’ experiences, the site aims "to address . . . instances where women experience discouragement," explains its originator, ASU counseling psychologist Bianca Bernstein.

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Chronicle of Higher Education (November 5, 2010)
“New Web Site Offers Career ‘Resilience’ Advice for Female Academics”

Women in science and technology doctoral-degree programs are more likely to drop out than are their male counterparts: Unfavorable workplace climates and discrimination are leading reasons. Arizona State University, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, is the latest university to attempt to combat this problem with a novel approach, featured on its new CareerWISE Web site.

Ms. Bernstein says she is hoping that the interpersonal approach will help women learn how to handle everyday situations and that using the Internet as a resource will make them more likely to seek help.

“Sometimes, women in these situations feel very vulnerable and don’t know what to do,” she says. “Going online gives them the ability to get advice and help in the privacy of their own home.”

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Inside Higher Ed (November 8, 2010)
“Wising Up on STEM Completion”

[That is why]‚Ķresearchers at Arizona State University spent the last four years creating a resource to support women in STEM: a website called CareerWISE, which they unveiled here at the National Science Foundation last week. “We aim to reduce these women’s decisions to leave their programs, if that decision involves discouragement,” said Bianca L. Bernstein, an Arizona State professor of counseling and principal investigator of the CareerWISE research program, the $3.2 million NSF grant project that led to the website. “We’re taking a completely different tack, and frankly, it’s experimental.”

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Time Magazine, Healthland (November 29, 2010)
“The Lab Rat: Can a Simple Writing Exercise Close the Gender Gap?”

In terms of how to combat the gender gap, other approaches that don’t punish men seem more promising. Earlier this month, Arizona State researchers launched an online resilience-training program for women in science and tech. The program, called CareerWISE, is based in solid research funded by the National Science Foundation. I'm all for closing the gender gap, but programs like CareerWISE are a better approach than in-class interventions . . . .

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Diverse Issues in Higher Education (November 8, 2010)
“CareerWISE Web Resource Offers Ph.D. Guidance for Women in Science”

As principal investigator Dr. Bianca L. Bernstein explained during the site’s formal launch at NSF headquarters in Arlington, Va., CareerWISE provides a four-step, problem-solving strategy to help women deal with problems that could lead them to leave their programs and includes hundreds of video clips from interviews with accomplished scientists and engineers in which they share their personal experiences and offer advice . . . .

“Because it’s the entr√©e to careers, we believe that the Ph.D. program is the closest a woman [gets] to what the career will be like when she enters it. The same issues will occur again and again, and it’s unrealistic to think we’re going to change the environment. We want to essentially inoculate our participants to anticipate and be ready to respond to these situations in the future,” Bernstein said.

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gradPsych (of the American Psychological Association) (January 2011)
“Women in science: This website’s for you”

“There’s an accumulation of stuff that leads to a woman’s decision that this isn’t worth it, that there are better alternatives,” says Bernstein, adding that the site will be expanded in the coming months. She thinks of CareerWISE as an ‘active intervention’ where women can find advice on common grad-school problems, all of it grounded in actual lives and stories.

“Apart from all the studies that have reported on how bad the problems are,” says Bernstein, “we’re one of the major projects that’s actually trying to do something about it.”

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BNET, the CBS Interactive Business Network (November 12, 2010)
“How to Engineer Bridges for Women”

While the National Science Foundation and its cohorts labor mightily on big-picture solutions, one breakout project has just delivered a set of tools useful for all women in male-dominated fields. “My interest as a psychologist is that, while the big picture changes, things still happen to individual women that create obstacles on a moment by moment basis,” Bernstein told me in an interview yesterday. “We wanted to see if we could develop something that would provide a resource to women so they can learn how to react better in the moment and also to prepare them for the future, given the assumption that whatever is unpleasant will likely follow them into the future.”

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ASBMB today (January 2011)
“A new online career resource for graduate students” (titled “Giving students endurance in the graduate-school marathon” in print version)

Bianca Bernstein, a counseling psychologist at Arizona State University, has created CareerWISE, an online tool for women in S&E doctoral programs. The site provides support for building successful partnerships with graduate advisers, balancing life in and out of the graduate program and overcoming unanticipated hurdles to graduation in S&E fields in which women traditionally have shown a higher dropout rate than men.

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ABC News Campus Chatter (December 30, 2009)
“Few Women Ph.D.'s in Science, Math: Is CareerWISE Web Site a Solution?”

While there is a high dropout rate for both genders, Bianca Bernstein, the lead ASU researcher working on the grant, and her partners who have been studying these numbers carefully, are focusing their efforts on encouraging more females to stick with their STEM programs.

“Ours is a very unusual approach in that we are trying to create a program online that helps women individually deal more productively with the problems that they encounter as they continue on in their doctoral program,” she said.

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ECampus News (October 28, 2010)
“University web site addresses gender gap in STEM fields”

Arizona State University officials aren’t just adding to the reams of research showing a gender gap in the science, technology, education, and math (STEM) fields. They’re confronting the persistent issue with a web site that encourages women to identify and rectify the ‘benevolent sexism’ prevalent in these male-dominated fields. “Our approach is a little different, because we’re actually trying to do something about it,” she [Bernstein] said of the gender gap in the STEM fields.

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National Science Foundation (October 26, 2010)
“Online Resource Offers Resilience Training for Women in Science”

The site is based on an extensive foundation of theory and research on psychological processes, environmental context, and personal behaviors that contribute to women’s experiences in career paths. The website is an outgrowth of the CareerWISE program, an interdisciplinary research endeavor funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and housed at Arizona State University’s School of Letters and Sciences. Led by Bianca L. Bernstein, CareerWISE seeks to address the loss of committed women from science and engineering doctoral programs.

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Equal Opportunity Magazine (Winter 2010/2011)