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STEM Young Talent Barometer 2023: Girls fall further behind

May 11, 2023

As the STEM Young Talent Barometer 2023 shows, girls as well as newly immigrated children have large achievement gaps in the subjects of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology, or STEM for short. German universities and their STEM programs are very popular among foreign students – which is motivating.

According to the STEM Young Talent Barometer 2023, gender differences in mathematical performance have increased significantly over the past ten years: By 4th grade, boys now have an academic advantage over girls of about 15 weeks of learning. Moreover, women remain significantly underrepresented in STEM apprenticeships and dual courses of study in STEM subjects. Among graduates of traditional STEM programs, however, their share rose slightly to 31 percent.

"Losing so many girls to STEM education at an early age is unacceptable - especially given the shortage of skilled workers. Often unconsciously and unintentionally, the STEM field is perceived by many as rather male. This is also the perception of many girls, which is why female students are often less attracted to STEM subjects than to other subjects. This feeling is later transferred to the choice of major in high school and subsequently to the choice of study major or education. Efforts should be made to overcome these powerful gender stereotypes. More positive female role models are needed. The achievement gap between boys and girls at the end of elementary school is almost impossible to close. Teachers and educators in early education and elementary school should pay more attention to girls' interests and show them the social relevance of STEM subjects to prevent this gap from occurring in the first place." says Olaf Köller, director of the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) and director of studies of the STEM Young Talent Barometer.

The complete press release (German) and further information

The STEM young talent barometer (German)

About the STEM Young Talent Barometer
The STEM Young Talent Barometer is a nationwide trend report. The report collects and comments on the most important figures, data and facts on the situation of young people in the STEM field, from school education to vocational training and university studies. By monitoring key indicators, the report provides empirically based insights into current developments and fields of action in STEM education, as well as indications of factors and motives that influence young adults' choice of studies and careers.

The STEM Young Talent Barometer is jointly published by acatech - German Academy of Science and Engineering and the Joachim Herz Foundation and produced by the IPN - Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education. The compact overview provides a sound decision-making aid for decision-makers in education, politics and business, thus contributing to a sustainable improvement of the STEM sector in Germany.