A new campaign has been launched by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) designed to ‘smash stereotypes to bits’ as new research suggests that there is still a disparity between boys and girls, as well as other demographic groups, considering a career in STEM.
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According to the research, just 26% of girls are looking to pursue a career in STEM compared to 43% of boys, highlighting the stark difference between the sexes in this field.
More than one in ten girls surveyed say the reason they have opted against pursuing a career in this field is that they believe STEM subjects are more suited towards boys.
It isn’t just girls who have fears over starting a career in STEM. Over a quarter (29%) of respondents who identified as LBGTUA+ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Undefined, Asexual) opted against having a career in STEM due to worries they would be discriminated against.
The IET has released a new video designed to smash stereotypes associated with careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
The video features five female engineers turning the idea of a stereotypical ‘pillow fight’ on its head by using their skills in engineering. It aims to inspire young people to consider STEM and engineering as a career - only 12% of those surveyed said their current study of these subjects makes them want to pursue it.
The IET believes that more needs to be done to ensure that STEM is being promoted as a viable career path for everyone, a belief shared by many, with over a quarter of people (27%) surveyed for the campaign saying the responsibility lies with our teachers, and over one in ten (14%) thinking the Government needs to step in and do more. A further one in ten believe this responsibility lies with parents.
The research also looked at the things most likely to encourage young people in considering a career in STEM with the ability to work in interesting fields (34%), the large number of job opportunities available (26%) and greater earning potential (20%) coming out on top.