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Increasing the Representation of Girls and Women in STEM, IT Education

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Young women working on a science project.

Said Monash University's Yolande Stengers, Our report identifies U.S.-based, Australian and other programs around the world that have achieved results through promoting computer sciences to young girls early in schools, introducing women role models and

Credit: iStock

A new report from Monash University has identified best practices and strategies to overcome barriers that prevent young girls and women from pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and IT education.

The new report, which was led by Monash University's Faculty of Information Technology (IT), identified best practices for recruitment and retention of young girls and women in STEM and IT education such as reaching out to girls early in schools, recruiting strategically into undergraduate degrees and facilitating positive and inclusive experiences during their education.

Data from UNESCO in 2017 shows that out of the total enrolments of global STEM-related higher education only 35 per cent were women and the numbers are lower in Australia, with enrolment rates of women below 20 per cent of total enrolments in 2019.

The report looked at U.S.-based and Australian studies that showed persistence of gendered stereotypes, influence of parents, educators and peers, and a lack of exposure to female role models in STEM and IT fields were some of the main factors preventing young girls from pursuing STEM education in schools and universities.

From Monash University (Australia)
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