Best Practice

Narrowing the gender gap: STEM

In the third and final part of his series on the gender gaps in educational outcomes, Matt Bromley asks why boys outperform girls in maths and science and looks at how we can close the gap

In the first two parts of this series I explored why the gender gap in education exists and looked at ways of closing the gap between girls and boys in reading and writing (where boys lag behind). In this third and final article, I will turn my attention to the gap between boys and girls in STEM subjects (where girls lag behind).

As I explained in part one, boys perform better than girls in maths, although the gender gap is narrower than in reading (where girls outperform boys). Also, there remain significant disparities in the subjects boys and girls choose to study, with girls less likely to choose scientific and technological fields of study than boys. And, even when girls do choose these subjects, they are less likely to take up careers in related fields. This widens the gap later in life in the career and earning prospects of women.

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