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Study reveals 83pc of girls fear gender inequality in science and tech careers

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A lack of subject choices in school is a clear barrier to pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and maths, according to four in five (78pc) of girls surveyed.

And a remarkable 83pc of Irish teenage girls also warned there is a widespread perception of a lack of gender equality in the STEM careers area.
The revelation came in a major 'I Wish' study which represents the largest survey of female attitudes towards strategic education and career issues in Ireland.
The 'I Wish' study was conducted across 2,449 Irish teenagers.
Incredibly, despite the perceived difficulties in pursuing a career in the STEM area, 87pc of girls said the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths offered growing areas of opportunity.

More than half those interested in studying engineering (55pc) and construction studies (52pc) did not have access to these subjects in the classroom.
With the exceptions of biology and chemistry, female students were under-represented across the board in terms of all STEM subjects.
The 'I Wish' report underlined the fact that greater access to STEM subjects was critical if Ireland was to de-gender the area.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Ireland's future hinged on empowering girls to access all parts of the economy.

“As a former teacher myself, ensuring students can fulfil their potential is close to my heart," he said.

"The pandemic has accelerated our use of STEM, and education in these fields is critical to future growth. Empowering girls to enter STEM, and stay the course, is imperative."

"I applaud 'I Wish' for leading the way in advocating for women in STEM, showcasing the power of the female role model, and broadening its scope to a year-round suite of innovative and targeted activities.”

'I Wish' co-founder Gillian Keating said the Irish economy needed the maximum possible intake of talented students.
“The world is rapidly changing. Fifteen out of the 20 fastest growing careers in the world require a background in maths or science. However, only 25pc of STEM jobs in Ireland are held by females," she said.
"If girls today perceive obstacles rather than seeing STEM pathways, we risk excluding them from the economy of the future and the pool of scientists, analysts and engineers that we so desperately need to secure a better future for us all.
"It is encouraging that many girls see STEM as a growing area of opportunity, and we need to build on this to create a level playing field. At I Wish we’re committed to ensuring that ‘no girl gets left behind’ and this requires the concerted effort of all to get involved and be accountable - policy makers, private sector, communities, men and women.”
The 'I Wish' annual global STEM event will be held virtually on February 10 next and will feature some of the country’s top female STEM leaders.
In 2021, over 15,000 viewers across 19 countries attended the showcase.
'I Wish' co-founder Caroline O'Driscoll said it was critical to halt gender stereotyping within the Irish economy.
“It is clear that knowledge is power and we can see that the sense of gender stereotyping in STEM is exacerbated by lack of access to female role models.”

 


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