#GAReads | The key to fixing the gender gap in math and science: Boost women's confidence
My colleagues and I have studied gender gaps in STEM for several years, examining U.S. data on teenagers as they move from high school to and through college. Across our studies, we find a consistent pattern: Girls with strong mathematics ability in high school do not necessarily leave the sciences entirely, but they major in math-heavy fields at significantly lower rates than their otherwise identical male peers.
Here’s the good news: These patterns can change. In one study, we found that 12th-grade girls with the highest levels of confidence in their mathematics ability with challenging material are more three times more likely to major in math-heavy STEM fields than girls with the lowest levels of confidence.