Why don’t European girls like STEM subjects?
In regard to the methodology adopted by Microsoft, the authors reveal: ” We created an aggregated multi-regression analysis to identify and statistically prove the key drivers influencing girls’ interest in STEM-related subjects.”
Our quantitative survey included a ‘Why’ section with questions about their practical experiences, visible role models, encouragement by teachers and parents and how these topics are relevant to their daily lives. In order to capture and measure each girl’s attitudes thoroughly on each of the ‘Why’ dimensions, we used a 1 to 5 scale, where 1 = “strongly disagree” and 5 = “strongly agree”.
We believe technology is a powerful force for improving people’s lives. The main findings show:
- There is a narrow, four-year window of opportunity to foster girls’ passion in STEM subjects in Europe.
- The country where young women live has a major impact on their attitudes to STEM. Results varied wildly from country to country. In some places, confidence is a major barrier, while in others, peer approval or lack of role models is holding them
- There are five major drivers impacting girls’ interest in STEM subjects. These include encouragement and mentorship; gaining practical experience; and having visible role models.
- Girls believe anything is possible, but only if they are treated the same as boys. Young women are confident that their generation is the first in which men and women will be truly equal in all areas of society, but acknowledge that men and women are treated differently in STEM jobs – and this perceived inequality is actually putting them off further STEM studies and careers.