Gender differences in tertiary education. What explains STEM participation?

European Union Publications Office
Publication date:


The share of women achieving tertiary education has increased rapidly over time and now exceeds that of men. Yet they are severely under-represented in maths-intensive science fields (generally known as science, technology, engineering and maths or STEM). Because of the economic importance attached to these fields, it is important to encourage more women to enter and remain in relevant subject areas throughout their education. This would also reduce occupational segregation and the gender wage gap, as maths-intensive fields are well-paid on average. This report presents some common themes with policy relevance that emerge from the literature.

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