#CETFact | Only 12% of female university students in Argentina choose a STEM career
Chicas en Tecnología (CET), with the support of NCR Foundation, presented new research on the participation of women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) university field. “An unequal career: the gender gap in the university system of Argentina” is the quantitative report that updates and continues the study that the organization has been conducting since its foundation in 2015 on the participation of women in science and technology disciplines.
To carry out the new research, Chicas en Tecnología classified over seven thousand Argentine university degrees provided by the Ministry of Education, in response to requests to access public information. The categorization was conducted based on definitions established by the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), which makes it possible to compare educational statistics across nations. In addition, CET developed a classification of all the programming degrees of the Argentine university system. “It is important to have a methodology that can let us build groups of data at a regional level, as this is a structural issue,” Megan Ballesty explained. Together with Milagros Giménez, she systematized and analyzed the information and made the new research report.
“An unequal career: the gender gap in the university system of Argentina” describes the latest academic context, based on the available public information. The analysis addresses the 2010–2019 period and focuses on STEM disciplines and the progress of the participation of women in these areas. Data from this report explain the persistent gender gap in careers linked to technology development:
- In Argentina, women account for only 34% of the students in STEM disciplines and 17% of the programming students.
- Even when university studies are growing — the number of students increased by 20% in 8 years — STEM careers grow at a slower pace. This occurs while job positions in the technological field are left vacant due to a lack of trained people for the required new profiles. This is a key industry for the development of economies because it generates quality job opportunities with long-term projection and remuneration advantages, as well as for the creation of services and products linked to the knowledge economy that can be exported to other markets.
Participation of women in STEM careers, as well as diversity in all the fields where the technological solutions that are used every day are created and designed, allows to identify a greater number of societal needs, generate inclusive services and products, and lead the scientific and technological advances from a rich, diverse, and contemplative point of view of the entire population. “The importance of STEM disciplines grows by leaps and bounds. The world we live in is asking for us to intervene in this issue,” Paula Coto, Executive Director of Chicas en Tecnología, said.
Chicas en Tecnología produces evidence on the technological gender gap to influence the issue through systemic work with all the actors of the technological ecosystem and guide its programs and initiatives according to the context in which it is acting. The databases and findings are open and free to use so that the public sector and the academic and private fields can elaborate policies and make decisions to integrate women and minorities in STEM disciplines. The organization also shares information with the general public to foster a cultural change to develop more just and inclusive societies.
Chicas en Tecnología developed an interactive microsite in partnership with El Gato and La Caja to go through the main research information in an accessible and dynamic way. Go to chicasentecnologia.org/futuro-programado and know more about the participation of women in STEM careers in the university system of Argentina.
+ Know about the main research findings on this link.
+ Download images with research data on this link.
+ Access the full research on this link.