In Honour of Computer Science Education Week: Stats Can’s Gender differences in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) programs at university

From the horse’s mouth. Gender differences in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) programs at university is part of the “Insights on Canadian Society” series published by Statistics Canada.It dates from almost exactly a year ago, so pretty recent.

[…]Despite the advances made in recent years,Note4 women remain less likely to choose a career in STEM areas, and more particularly in engineering, mathematics and computer science. This stands in contrast to nearly all other fields of study, where women now represent the vast majority of graduates—especially health and social science programs. Why are women staying away from STEM programs?

Here is the overview:

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.42.43 AM

Check out the study. The stat that gives me the most pause and I think is indicative of the root problem is the last point – where women who score high in STEM fields are still less likely to choose a STEM program than men who fared less well in the same classes.

Is it an issue of perception?Do young women equate engineering and computer science with anti-social, awkward loners and not with the opportunities to effect change in th world throughout these fields?   Is it because there are not enough role models in young women’s daily lives or in popular culture? Why?

I think it is a mix of many things, not to mention the centuries-old gender bias that has only recently (the last century is recent when talking about our society’s perception of gender) started to be deconstructed.

Either way you look at it, if women are to have a voice in our culture, they should have a hand in building it, whether it be a bridge, a pipeline or a virtual space online.

Celebrate Computer Science Education Week and do an Hour of Code!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s