The Gender Gap Has Increased In Recent Decades In Computer Science And Mathematics

The gender gap has increased in Spain in two of the main disciplines of the ‘Steam’ field (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, for its acronym in English), computer science and mathematics.

This has happened during the last two decades in Baccalaureate and Vocational Training and during the last three in the University. This is stated in a study carried out by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and the results of which will be presented on February 11, coinciding with the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, in an act at the headquarters of the Higher Center for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Madrid. It is expected that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and several ministers will attend.

The ‘X-ray of the gender gap in Steam training. A detailed study of the educational trajectory of girls and women in science’ indicates that female students are “systematically in the minority” in this type of discipline and can be seen at all educational stages, from high school to university doctorates. “Even when they study ‘Steam’ disciplines, girls are more likely to opt for sciences associated with health and care, to the detriment of engineering and technology,” can be read in the summary of the document.

Specifically, the data shows that the representation of women is considerably lowerin Computing and Communication Vocational Training (7% of Intermediate Grade students and 10% of Higher Grade students) and has even fallen since the 2000-01 academic year, when women were almost 27% of students. This trend is also observed in university degrees, since 13% of computer science students are women, when they were 30% in the 1980s.

Likewise, the proportion of female students in Mathematics in public university degrees decreases: in the 1985-86 academic year, university students were 50.68% and university students 49.32%; while in the 2019-20 academic year there are 63.74% male students and 36.26% female students, which yields a difference of 27 points.

‘STEAM’ Within the framework of this conference, the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training has convened the first face-to-face meeting of the members of ‘The Steam Alliance for female talent, girls at the forefront of science’.

This initiative, to which the Servimedia news agency has recently joined and made up of a hundred companies and entities, has the objective of promoting ‘Steam’ vocations in girls and young people.

The aforementioned event, organized by Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Innovation, is expected to include the participation of the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría; Science and Innovation, Diana Morant; and that of Equality, Irene Montero. It will also have the presence of the CSIC researcher Elena García Armada.

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