New report finds early engagement is key to getting more women into STEM fields

January 24, 2014

A new report by researchers at Mount Saint Vincent University has determined key factors that could encourage more young women to study in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Early engagement, preferably before high school, was identified as the key factor contributing to interest in STEM fields; participation in activities like science fairs, engineering competitions and summer camps made young women 2.7 times more likely to consider a STEM career. “I think this is a wake-up call. We need to increase the engagement level, and we need to encourage it from a young age,” said the study’s lead investigator, Tamara Franz-Odendaal, an associate professor at MSVU. Recent data from Statistics Canada found that although women comprise a larger percentage of university graduates, in the STEM fields they only account for 39% of graduates.MSVU News | Globe and Mail