Microsoft has released a survey that portrays the scenario of women in a universe considered to be masculine at times: that of the exact sciences. The study, conducted by Microsoft in partnership with KRC Research, reveals that despite the high priority these disciplines are placed in schools, efforts to expand women’s interest in these areas and in computer science are not working, especially in technology and engineering.
The survey heard more than 6,000 American girls and women ages 10 to 30 about science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, or STEM. One of the data, for example, shows that in elementary school 31 percent of girls believe that jobs that require coding and programming are not for them, rising to 40 percent in high school and 58 percent in college.
According to the results of the study, the main reasons that would justify this scenario would be from social pressure in the school environment to the lack of models to be followed, as well as the support of parents and teachers for a general perception of how exact careers are in the real world.
The document also proposes to modify this scenario. The first of these would be to provide teachers with tools that make the curriculum of exams more engaging, such as 3D designs – types of activity that have proven to help maintain long-term interest. In addition, the study shows that girls encouraged by parents are twice as likely to be interested in the world of the exact. That is: it is important to create tools between school and parents for this to happen.
Finally, the research highlights the importance of creating classrooms and workplaces that value women’s opinions. “It would be really cool to see women in the exact careers on posters in the hallway, in our history and science texts, and to visit our classes,” says one of the girls interviewed by the survey.