A girl is on the computer as she explores robotics and STEM careers.

Why is girls’ interest in STEM careers shockingly low?


Research shows the number of girls who want to pursue STEM careers continues to decline--here's what can be done about it

A new survey shows that the number of girls interested in pursuing STEM careers is alarmingly small–and it continues to decline.

The survey from Junior Achievement, conducted by the research group Engine, shows that only 9 percent of girls ages 13-17 express an interest in STEM careers, down from 11 percent in a similar 2018 survey.

Related: Girls and STEM: A female engineer shares her path

Teen boys’ interest in STEM careers increased slightly to 27 percent, up from 24 percent in 2018. The survey of 1,004 teens was conducted from April 16 to 21, 2019. Eighty-five percent of teens say they know what kind of job they want after graduation, down slightly from 88 percent in 2018

While girls’ interest in STEM careers like engineering, robotics, and computer science declined, their interest in careers in the medical and dental fields increased to 25 percent, up from 19 percent in 2018.

What can motivate girls to pursue STEM careers?

The call for equal representation is becoming louder, and society is striving to solve glaring gender gaps in STEM graduates and STEM fields across the country. The numbers tell an alarming story about female representation in STEM education and fields.

Laura Ascione

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