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Addressing the under-representation of girls in STEM

Published: Mar 8, 2019 2 min read

STEM learning

Addressing the under-representation of girls taking science, technology, engineering, maths and computing (STEM) subjects at school and college is fundamental to achieving gender diversity within the STEM workforce.

Recent statistics published by WISE show that women make up less than a quarter of the core STEM workforce in the UK, and only 12% of engineering professionals.

Last month, School Standards Minister Nick Gibb identified the need to increase the number of girls studying STEM A levels. Indeed, Mr Gibb cited recent research published by the Department for Education showing that girls are less likely than boys to pursue STEM subjects at A level.

Recent analyses from STEM Learning’s research and evaluation team shows that engaging with STEM Learning professional development significantly increases the number of girls studying STEM subjects at A level.

The impact of Science Learning Partnerships, a graph showing the percentage of Year 11 girls progressing to complete one or more STEM A levels

Compared to those schools who had not engaged with the network of Science Learning Partnerships (SLPN), girls from schools who had engaged were significantly more likely to choose to study one or more STEM subjects at A level.

Whilst the impact of Science Learning Partnerships is significant, we also recognise that there is still only a small proportion of girls choosing to undertake a STEM subject at A level and we strive to continue our work on increasing this figure.

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