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Monday June 24, 2019


Only 20 per cent of A-level students studying Physics are female.

I know that there are not a lot of women in STEM fields; I think those that are probably more confident than average, as most girls tend to doubt their mathematical abilities. Despite it being statistically proven that girls studying physics at GCSE and A-level outperform boys, currently only 20 per cent of A-level students studying Physics are female. Similarly, in 2011, over 50 per cent of secondary schools had no girls progressing to study A-level physics.

A diverse workforce is key to future of the technology and IT industry, both in the UK and around the world. And, in order for us to develop at the pace required to truly innovate, a range of skills and backgrounds is pivotal to create and drive through ultra-swift technological advancements.

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! She had 14 job offers after graduating in 1999 with a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford University and chose to originally work at Google during a spring break period in which, she told CNN, she made all the decisions she is most proud of. “Those decisions all had two things in common: I always surrounded myself with the smartest people I could find, because they make you think about things harder… And I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow.”

Girls’ disadvantage in STEM is a result of multiple and overlapping factors embedded in both the socialisation and learning processes. These include social, cultural and gender norms, which influence the way girls and boys are brought up, learn and interact with parents, family, friends, teachers and the wider community. These influences are a powerful force in shaping their identity, beliefs, behaviour and choices.

Mayim Bialik doesn’t just play a neuroscientist on “The Big Bang Theory.” She has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA, taught for several years, wrote a book for parents about the science of hormones, and has given public lectures about the importance of investing in STEM careers and research.  “I arrived late to science, actually,” Bialik recently told CNBC. “It wasn’t something I had a natural affinity for, and growing up, I always thought it was for boys.”

STEM careers are considered to be ‘the’ jobs of the future. Ensuring girls and women have equal access to STEM education and ultimately STEM career is an imperative from the human rights, scientific, and development perspectives. Gender equality in STEM will ensure that boys and girls, men and women, will be able to acquire skills and opportunities to contribute to and benefit equally from the benefits of STEM.


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