Gender and Socio-Economic Differences in STEM Uptake and Attainment
Emily McDool and
CVER Research Papers from Centre for Vocational Education Research
The underrepresentation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) occupations is a world-wide phenomenon and a concern for policy makers. This is the case in the UK where a shortage of STEM skills is also being encountered. Marked gender imbalances in STEM study in higher education and A-level study and have been widely documented. Gender gaps are also apparent in vocational post-16 education though the existence and causes of these imbalances have, to date, received little attention in existing research and public policy. This paper uses administrative data on a full cohort of school leavers in 2005/06 to explore the extent of gender imbalances in STEM qualifications attempted and achieved in both academic and vocational post-16 education routes in England. We find that gender differentials in the uptake of STEM subjects in vocational qualifications are much starker than they are in A-Levels and that while the roles of ability, socio-economic status and school characteristics in explaining gender differentials differ with the education route taken, their power in explaining these gaps is limited.
Keywords: vocational education; STEM; gender (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cep:cverdp:029
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