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Gender Pay Gap in STEM

Why is there a Gender Pay Gap in STEM?

Around the world, women make up only 29% of the workforce in STEM. The gender gaps are particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, like computer science and engineering.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women, and studies reveal that women in STEM are published less, paid less for their research and do not advance as far as men in their careers.

Women in the UK comprise about a third of those enrolled in physical science courses (like physics, chemistry and astronomy) and a similar proportion of mathematical science courses. However, the lure of computer sciences, engineering and technology subjects is considerably less, with UK women constituting only about a fifth of the student body for these courses.

A 2012 Yale study adds another potential explanation for a gender pay gap in STEM fields: a science faculty biased toward male students in the US. In the study, science faculty participants rated a hypothetical applicant assigned a male name as “significantly more competent and hirable” than the identical applicant assigned a female name. These participants also were willing to pay the male $4,000 more than the female applicant and were more willing to provide mentoring to the male than the female applicant.

Science and gender equality are vital to the world achieving the sustainable development goals, and in recent years much more has been done to help inspire women and girls to study and work in technical fields. Although, women continue to be excluded from participating fully, according to the United Nations.


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