Women in STEM – Where are the missing 115,000 female students?

  • Christina Astin
  • Jun 08 2023

We’re still seeing too many capable girls turning away from promising STEM careers, warns Christina Astin…


When talking about women in STEM, I often ask people to close their eyes and picture an engineer. If you do it now, what do you see? A hard hat and hi-vis jacket? Heavy machinery? An older white male?

Hopefully not. But attempt a Google Images search for ‘engineer’ and you’ll quickly see how strong the stereotypes out there still are. It’s a similar story for the terms ‘scientist’, ‘technician’ or ‘mathematician’.

A recent report from EngineeringUK reveals that 115,000 more girls need to take maths or physics A Level to balance out the male students studying for engineering and technology degrees.

We know that the proportion of girls choosing A Level STEM subjects has remained stubbornly low for decades. So low that it would take 250 years at current rates to attain gender parity in physics alone.

So why hasn’t this changed? Does it even matter? And what, in any case, can teachers do about it?

This article was originally published on TeachWire. Read the full article here