A recent survey conducted by Canadian not for profit STEM Camp reveals the biggest reason for girls not pursuing STEM education is the stereotype of traditional perceived male roles vs female roles.
The survey was conducted in three hundred and sixty three (363) Canadian households as well as across social media channels. While the traditional role perception was revealed as the biggest obstacle (74.10%), girls’ interest in STEM careers in general was second (44.63%) followed by a lack of peer support (41.05%) with lack of support from Canada’s education system following closely behind (38.02%).
Moreover, results revealed that 23.14% of respondents felt that a lack of support from parents was the cause while 25.62% indicated a lack of career opportunities for women in STEM fields.
68.78% of responding parents indicated they would encourage their sons to pursue a career in a STEM-related field, while 72.53% of parents would encourage their daughters to pursue STEM-related careers. Why is this different? Interesting to note that more parents would encourage their daughters yet enrolments in STEM-related programs show traditionally that more boys participate. Another interesting result revealed that 99.17% of parents acknowledged that a solid education in STEM subjects will be important to their child’s future. Even though they recognize this fact, the number is still lower for encouraging their sons and daughters to participate in STEM activities.
While the sample size is small, STEM Camp CEO and Founder Kevin Cougler, believes it is indicative of a trend in Canadian society that has the importance of STEM education receiving more attention. “When the Government of Canada attaches enough importance to STEM education by putting it in the last two national budgets, people take notice” says Cougler. “The challenge now will be to find ways to encourage our girls and boys to participate in as many STEM-based programs and activities as possible”.
The fact that girls aren’t entering STEM education because of perceived pink and blue jobs leads Cougler to believe that the issue permeates society at all levels starting in the home, in the content we bring into the home, and the messaging in our educational facilities.
STEM Camp Online Newsroom: https://stemcamp.ca/sc-news/
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