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STEM stands for Science (NPS), Technology (IT), Engineering (ERT) and Mathematics. These disciplines are intertwining when applied in the real world, since they provide for skills necessary in the 21st century, as well as tools that are needed for those who pursue success in workplaces of the future. Moreover, disciplines in the field of STEM are important fields for our society since they play a significant role in contributing towards the human evolution. Thus, those working in the field of STEM, play a key role in sustainability of growth as well as economic stability, which are critical components to help each country to overcome possible future obstacles. However, the gender gap that exists in STEM fields, appears to be large. In fact, in 2019 it was shown that the overall percentage of graduates with STEM degrees were 26% female, whilst 74% were male (STEM Women). Additionally, just 24% of the UK STEM workforce was female in 2019 (STEM Women), and as a consequence there are relatively few female role models working in STEM fields.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected future career prospects in STEM and more specifically 60% of the female STEM students (STEM Women). This large difference in the gender gap is a clear indication of the distinction made between male and female, on an academic level, in the workplace, in the community, in broader society and most importantly, as a mindset of each human.

While gender inequality should not be a problem in 2021, it is still a factor that affects the future of many girls and women. In fact, females are still fighting with patriarchy especially in underdeveloped countries, which means that women do not have access to equal opportunities in order to achieve their goals and dreams.

Hence, I believe that such stereotypes and unconscious gender bias are the main influences on girls’ decision on pursuing academic qualifications and careers in STEM. This can be also viewed on an institution level, since Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, also raises concerns in respect to gender inequality in the field of STEM. In her own words “The world needs science and science needs women”, because “Humanity cannot afford not to use half of its creative potential” (Science Girl Thing).

However, although STEM careers are perceived as male dominated, a tendency has been shown in nations that have traditionally less gender equality, to have more women in science and technology (Fig.1).

International Day of Women and Girls in Science Graph.png

International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Fig 1. A scatter plot of countries based on their number of female STEM graduates and their Global Gender Gap Index (y-axis), a measure of opportunities for women (Psychological Science).

According to recent research, the underrepresentation of girls and women in the field of STEM, raises concerns for social scientists as well as policymakers. In fact, girls’ performance in science was similar to, or better than, boys in two of every three countries, while the pursuit of STEM degrees rose with increases in national gender equality. However, girls’ attitudes towards the field of STEM and their engagement with it was related with life-quality pressures in less gender-equal countries. Therefore, women in countries with higher gender inequality seek possible paths to financial freedom, and typically, financial freedom is sought through STEM related professions.

Last but not least, it is notable to mention that the Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2020, has been awarded to two women leading in the field of science. Specifically, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 was awarded jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna "for the development of a method for genome editing." Since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. The genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind. CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors are being used to develop new cancer therapies. Such achievements have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind and play an influential role for young females to follow those steps in the field of STEM.



  1. Davies, K. (2021, January 22). STEM WOMEN. Retrieved from
  2. Khazan, O. (2018). The More Gender Equality, the Fewer Women in STEM. The Atlantic. Retrieved from
  3. Ortiz, M. (2020, July 4). UN Day: Science needs women! Retrieved from Science Girl Thing:
  4. Stoet, G. &. (2020). The gender-equality paradox in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education: Corrigendum.
  5. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020. Nobel Media AB 2021. Wed. 10 Feb 2021.
  6. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry


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