Interventions and Female Role Models encouraging STEM involvement


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    Hi all :wave: ,
    I was reading this UNESCO report Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in STEM and noted the interesting points on female role models and mentors below in relation to encouraging and retaining girls interest in technology (and other STEM areas).
    Through the CoderDojo Girls Initiative we we are aiming to increase the % of girls involved in Dojos to at least 40% by 2020. Mentors act as the main role models in a Dojo setting. Across the globe we have seen a correlation between the number of female Mentors and the number of girls in CoderDojo; so this is an area of particiular interest:

    Parents in STEM fields are likely to familiarise girls with STEM careers in ways that other role models cannot, and debunk the perception that STEM occupations are difficult to combine with family life. Studies have shown that women scientists more frequently have parents who are scientists than their male colleagues.

    In OECD countries, girls’ science performance appears to be more strongly associated with mothers’ higher educational qualifications, and boys’ with their fathers’ (Figure 39). Other studies comparing the multiple influences on children’s mathematics achievement have found that mothers’ education has the largest effect.

    For STEM role models to be effective, girls should be able to identify with them. If girls believe that the success of role models is beyond their reach, they may feel threatened rather than motivated. This may distance girls from the role models’ field. A US study found that the presence of same-sex role models has a far bigger impact on women than on men.

    In Nigeria, role models were found to assist in retaining girls in STEM at all levels of education.

    For Dojos that have already checked out our Dojo specific guide with tips and advice (available in English, Spanish and Italian), I thought this image might be useful to see the different levels and relavant approaches in each area that can increase girls interest in STEM.

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