Gender

Encouraging girls to take up STEM subjects

Girls outperform boys at GCSE, A-Level and degree level and yet there are clear gender differences in the higher education subjects they select. Only 13% of engineering, 22% of maths and 18% of technology places are taken by women. Compare this to the 89% of women who make up the UK’s nursing workforce.

How can schools close the gap and lure more girls into STEM? It’s a subject that’s generated much debate and a slew of initiatives, including Stemettes, Girls Into STEM and the WISE campaign’s People Like Me resource that address why girls aren’t taking up physics.

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5 ways to improve self-esteem in girls

Marking its 30th anniversary in January, ChildLine warned that young people are “plagued by low self-esteem”, their confidence “destroyed by a constant onslaught from cyber-bullying, social media and the desire to copy celebrities as they strive to achieve the ‘perfect’ image.”

Indeed, in 2014-15 there were 35,244 counselling sessions for low self-esteem, up 9% on the previous year. Here’s how you can help.

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The GCSE gender gap

Last week The Independent revealed that “Girls lack confidence in their ability in maths and science and are therefore put off from applying for jobs in engineering and computing” (The Independent, January 2014).

Every year the GCSE gender gap in school subjects is brought into the spotlight, with an attempt to analyse the cause of this division.

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