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Confidence in math has become a major problem for girls in school

Global News – Liam Casey

“Confidence in math has become a major problem for girls, research and data show. Experts believe it is one of the reasons women are vastly outnumbered by men in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions later in life. Differences in math confidence between boys and girls show up as early as Grade 3 in Ontario, despite girls and boys scoring similar marks. That trend continues through to high school.”(more)

Report: STEM Degrees Rise, but Disparities Remain

The U.S. News and World Report – Claire Hansen

“Despite modest gains in degree attainment in science, technology, engineering and math, women and minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the fields, according to a new report out Wednesday. Women are also less likely to enter STEM occupations after earning a STEM degree as are blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans, according to the report, which was prepared by the RAND corporation and commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association with over 625 members in the oil and natural gas field. The report analyzes broad STEM degree attainment and employment trends, and pays specific attention those in the the oil and natural gas sector.”(more)

Analysis: Why Are All the Stories About Boys Falling Behind Girls at School Ignoring the Forces Keeping Them There?

The 74 Million – Richard Whitmire

“A recent flurry of articles on boys falling behind in school do a great job laying out the facts — but fall short when it comes to asking the right questions. Take the recent Atlantic piece as an example. Great facts, all accurate: As of 2015, 72.5 percent of females who recently graduated from high school were enrolled in college, versus 65.8 percent of men (compared to 1967 when 57 percent of the males were in college and 47.2 percent of the females.). This is important stuff. Today, at a time when college has become the new high school as many employers demand college degrees for jobs that don’t truly need those skills, there are 2.2 million more women than men in college.”(more)

Closing the tech gender gap starts in childhood

The Guardian – Jessica Bateman

“The tech industry’s gender imbalance is no secret – only 17% of technology specific jobs are held by women. Projects to counter the problem, from conferences to mentorship programmes, are becoming widespread but are usually aimed at women already embarking on careers. Could we be doing more to close this gap during childhood? There is overwhelming evidence that our early years are crucial in shaping how we see the world and our place in it. From as early as 10 or 11, children already have strong ideas about their gender roles. According to Elle Boag, a social psychologist at Birmingham City University, children as young as seven may have ideas about the different types of job men and women should do.”(more)

Dive Into STEM: Attracting, retaining qualified and diverse faculty is a prerequisite to building the field

Education Dive – Shalina Chatlani

“As we try to digest how to get more women and underrepresented minorities into STEM fields, or really any other type of career, experts often say that one key factor is that students see in themselves a future through the people they look up to. In other words, it’s difficult for a girl from a diverse background to see herself getting into a computer science field, when the demographics of her class and her professor is the complete opposite of anything she’s ever known.”(more)

‘Tubby and terrified’: How fear puts girls off PE

BBC – Judith Burns

“The UK’s chief medical officer recommends school-age children do at least an hour of exercise each day. But new research with 25,000 secondary students in England and Northern Ireland suggests that, at secondary level, only 8% of girls and 16% of boys manage this. Of the teenagers, surveyed by Youth Sport Trust and Women in Sport, more than 80% understood the importance of being active but almost half of boys and nearly two-thirds of girls were less than keen on taking part themselves. The research suggests lack of confidence is key.”(more)