Abstract / Synopsis

Stereotypes about mathematicians that conflict with ``traditionally feminine" identities are widely held by people from middle-school-age onwards, and can influence their participation in mathematics and related fields. Simply being exposed to women in mathematics is not enough to change students' perceptions of mathematicians, and may even decrease girls' interest in mathematics. This paper proposes a storytelling strategy to help change students' perceptions of mathematicians. It includes several activities for intentionally incorporating women's stories into the post-secondary classroom and a list of resources for finding existing powerful stories. The diverse stories of women mathematicians, including details of their personal lives and the barriers to success they faced, can relieve potential discord between students' identities and those they see participating in mathematics.



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