By Andreas Schleicher Measured in the most common metric – average years of schooling – the industrialised world essentially closed the gender gap in education in the 1960s. And that has made a huge difference: about half of the economic growth in OECD countries over the past 50 years has been due to increased educational attainment, and mainly among women. But women still earn 15% less than men, on average in OECD countries, and 20% less among workers at the top of the pay scale. Some people are quick to say that this is about men and women doing similar work for different pay, but another factor is that men and women pursue different careers. And as our new report The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence suggests, those career choices may be made much earlier than commonly thought. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results-gender.htm
The report finds that, even though boys and girls show similar performance on the PISA science test, on average across OECD countries, less than 5% of 15-year-old girls contemplate pursuing a career in engineering or computing, while 20% of boys do (it’s almost exactly the other way round when it comes to health services). Gender differences in self-confidence in science explain part of this gap. So while many countries can claim victory in having closed gender gaps in the knowledge and skills of boys and girls, we may have lost sight of important social and emotional dimensions of learning that may be far more predictive for the future life choices of children. In most countries, teachers and schools need to do better to help girls see science and math not just as school subjects, but as essential to open up career and life opportunities. This is significant not only because women are severely under-represented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics Read more! Get the best topics like movies, itunes, television and more, click @ ATE!