A-Level Results: Strikingly low number of girls taking ICT & STEM subjects

girls collecting exam results

A strikingly low number of girls are taking ICT and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, according to statistics.

As A-level results came out this morning, results showed that the majority of girls are still not taking technology and STEM subjects. In fact, this year, only 0.4 per cent of girls took ICT, compared to 1.1 per cent of boys – a 0.1 per cent decrease from last year.

Despite entries into STEM subjects continuing to rise, with the number of students taking these subjects up  by 3.4 per cent on last year, more still needs to be done to encourage young women into STEM careers.

Figures show that overall, there has been an increase in entries to STEM A Levels by girls, rising by 5.5 per cent from last year and 26.9 per cent since 2010. However, when split into specific subjects, the statistics show a limited number of girls taking computing, ICT, physics, mathematics and further mathematics.

In physics, girls make up only 1.9 per cent, while boys make up 8.9 per cent. Mathematics fairs a little better, with 8.6 per cent of girls taking this subject, but this is still low compared to 16.2 per cent of boys. The percentage goes down to one per cent with further mathematics, compared to 3.2 per cent for boys.

While studies show a low number of girls taking STEM subjects, their results make for positive reading. Overall, girls got higher marks in the computing A-level, with 20.1 per cent of girls scoring an A* or A – compared to 17.9 per cent of boys.

Speaking about the statistics, Tara O’Sullivan, CMO at Skillsoft said, “To be something, you need to see something.”

“These results are reflective of the lack of female role models in technology and STEM as a whole.”

“The field is male dominated.”

“Young girls often feel like they don’t have a place in STEM, so they don’t choose these A-Level subjects.”

“To make a change, we need women who have climbed up the STEM ladder to showcase themselves and their career choice.”

“They need to show young girls that working in STEM is cool and rewarding – and that women belong in the industry.”

“Girls need to be inspired to choose IT and other STEM A-levels.”

“With a lack of female role models in STEM, they are only being put off.”

Joanna Hu, senior data scientist at Exabeam added, “It’s disappointing to see we are still struggling to balance the STEM divide.”

“Young women should not be afraid of pursuing careers in the tech industry – it’s challenging, exciting and offers tremendous opportunities.”

“The world is changing fast, and we need to change with it.”

“Out-dated stereotypes mean many young women will be missing out on the chance to develop skills in areas they are really passionate about.”

“This needs to change.”

“Schools, parents and universities all need to do more to ensure young women have the support and encouragement to confidently pursue training and careers in STEM fields.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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