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Women and Science

We know we need to do more to promote women’s participation in STEM subjects, and numerous programs exist to do just that, but the numbers are still low: Among students who have completed their studies in a STEM subject, only 30% are women. And the number is even lower among those who choose to train for a trade (do an Ausbildung) in technology and natural sciences, with only 8% of trainees being women. (Medicine is an exception, with women making up 60-70% of dental and medical students in Germany during the winter semester 2016/2017.)

So what stops women from going into STEM fields? This article highlights a lack of encouragement from parents and teachers, low self-confidence among girls in these subjects, stereotypes, and a lack of incentives.

Among the things that are said to help solve this problem are single-sex education and more female role models in STEM fields. For example, a study by Microsoft showed that 44% of women were interested in STEM subjects when they had a role model. Among those without a role model, only 22% indicated that they were interested in the field.

To learn more, read the original article in German on Spiegel Online.

Image: Screenshot from SPIEGEL ONLINE

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