The dreaded day, A-Level results day, finally arrived last week. As students across the country opened their envelopes with hopes of going to university hanging in the balance, in the professional world analysis of the results has prompted organisations to evaluate the success of getting more women into STEM careers.
Across A-Levels in ICT, mathematics and further mathematics the gender gap between men and women successfully passing has increased, with a greater number of male students completing the qualifications than female students.
This news indicates that efforts to get more girls engaged with STEM from an early age and continue throughout school are not showing to be successful. This has urged Agata Nowakowska, AVP at Skillsoft to give her view of the results to Employer News:
“Another year, another frustratingly small number of girls taking STEM exams compared to their male counterparts. Schools need to step up to show pupils that old-fashioned misconceptions that these subjects are for boys are exactly that – misconceptions.”
However, it is not all doom and gloom. There are great initiatives out there allowing girls to dip their toe into areas such as coding, with Code Girls First being a prime example. These help demystify areas that girls have had very little exposure to. We need to take this model into the classroom, but this is as much about educating teachers, as it is students.
“Some are unconsciously biased about girls and STEM. The sooner we can make these changes, the sooner we can have more equality, diversity and balance in the world of technology.”
Let’s hope that 2020 starts to see a paradigm shift in the way that students view STEM subjects, and we can encourage there to be greater diversity from school all the way through to the glass ceiling.