New Research shows that men still peruse STEM fields

A new study has found that men are still perusing more STEM subjects in their undergraduate studies, than their female counterparts, and going on to earn, on average, $3000 more per year.

The report that was released by the Women in New South Wales unit of the Department of Health, found that the majority of undergraduates studying in the STEM field, were men.

NSW Minister for Women, Pru Goward, said it was up to schools and families to support women studying courses in these subjects.

“We need parents to be more supportive, we need girlfriends and boyfriends to be more supportive of girls making this choice,” Ms Goward said.

“We certainly need careers advisers, mentors and teachers and principals recognizing that its important that we narrow that gender gap.”

The study has also showed that despite the fact that the gender gap between graduate salaries are still high, they have decreased by $2000 since 2012.

Ms Goward said more needed to be done to encourage women into higher-paying jobs.

“Women, for a variety of reasons, end up in positions where they are not paid as much as their male counterparts or in industries where there isn’t quite the same reward,” she said.

The number of women taking up STEM programs is at a 10-year low, despite numerous state-funded programs aimed at narrowing the gap.

Ms Goward said the results were disappointing but the state planned to continue encouraging women into male-dominated roles.

“What is depressing is that even though Australian employers know that this century is the century of science and technology and engineering … that this gap between the apprenticeships offered to girls and boys is still so wide,” she said.

“If we don’t give these opportunities to girls we condemn them to a limited number of careers.”

The report went on to say however, that women are more likely to complete a postgraduate degree in a STEM related field.

In 2015, 32.9 % of women completed postgraduate studies in STEM studies compared to 30.7 per cent of men.

The number of females taking up STEM programs is at a 10-year low.

Ms Goward said the results were disappointing but the state planned to continue encouraging women into male-dominated roles.

“What is depressing is that even though Australian employers know that this century is the century of science and technology and engineering … that this gap between the apprenticeships offered to girls and boys is still so wide,” she said.

“If we don’t give these opportunities to girls we condemn them to a limited number of careers.”

The research also showed women were more likely than men to complete higher education, with 77 per cent of girls finishing secondary school compared to 68 per cent of boys in 2015.

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