Accenture and I Wish have launched a report titled Girls in STEM to address the shortage of girls studying STEM subjects in school. The gender imbalance issue has not improved since Accenture's first Girls in Stem Report in 2013. The new report, the third, identifies negative stereotypes, a lack of information among parents who are very influential in education choices, fragmented STEM information and less obvious career paths than other disciplines, and a disconnectoin between industry needs and girls' choices for Leaving Cert subjects.
The report concludes:
"Based on what our research has shown, the following are our recommendations for action. We need to intervene much earlier in the education system to prevent gender disparities in STEM from becoming apparent, and to adjust girls’ perceptions of maths as less enjoyable.
"It’s imperative that in order to maximise parents’ influence on their children, and promote positive messages about STEM, they must educate themselves more about STEM subjects.
"Societal benefits are a key motivator for girls to follow STEM studies and, subsequently, careers. Industry needs to use this knowledge when crafting messages that target and encourage girls into those disciplines. Groups should also change the language they use when speaking about STEM careers, by using more specific job roles and words that help students to envisage the kind of work they will do."
Read the full Girls in STEM report.