Best Practice

Gender equality in STEM classrooms

What grassroots actions can we take to increase female participation in STEM subjects? Garath Rawson explains the work of Doncaster UTC with STEM role models, communicating career options, changing androcentric narratives, and working with parents

Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects have been dominated by male students for centuries.

In 2020, 78,459 students sat GCSE computer science, but only 16,919 of these were female. In 2021, 79,964 students sat the exam, but the number of female students decreased to 16,549 (JCQ, 2021).

Similarly, the proportion of students studying engineering and technology who were make was 81% in 2018 (STEM Women, 2021).

This gender imbalance is problematic for many reasons. First, diversity in the classroom is beneficial to everyone as it stimulates the exploration of new ideas and encourages the discussion of different perspectives which helps students gain a more holistic understanding of concepts. Second, the lack of women studying STEM subjects directly translates to a lack of women in the STEM workforce.

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