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Brief: How Can We Encourage Girls and Young Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?

Girls and boys starting school are equally good at math, yet by age 15, boys begin to outperform girlsFootnote 1. This shift may limit girls' post-secondary education and career choices.

Young women continue to dominate traditional fields of study such as education and nursing, which lead them into careers where their earnings are lower than in male dominated onesFootnote 2.

"The odds of a female child enrolled in 1st grade going on to receive a Ph.D. in the sciences or engineering are approximately 1 in 286 (the odds for a boy are 1 in 167). Today, in an average-sized Canadian elementary school, only 1 child will go on to receive that Ph.D., and it is likely to be a boy."Footnote 3

Traditional gender roles continue

Girls' and young women's post-secondary education and careers

How do we encourage girls and young women to participate in science, technology, engineering and math?

For more information, see Girls Action Foundation (2013) Beyond Appearances: Brief on the Main Issues Facing Girls in Canada. Available at:

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