Twenty percent of Canada's post-secondary science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students are currently female, even though jobs in STEM-related fields are growing three times faster than other parts of the economy and paying 12 percent higher, note Canadian Sens. Art Eggleton and Raymonde Saint-Germaine.
The senators cite several ways to address the STEM gender deficit, such as by providing more active female STEM role models for girls at a much younger age.
"We need to invest in our elementary teachers' abilities and love of math to energize girls at a very young age," says University of Toronto professor Ismael Mourifie.
A second initiative would involve public elementary schools doing more to kindle student interest and passion in STEM, while a third strategy is to reexamine and rethink the teaching of STEM subjects. Key to this is emphasizing social aspects of STEM education, such as the human factors and societal benefits of good design.
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