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Girls, STEM & Careers: Decoding Girls’ Futures in an Age of Social Media

RESEARCH RELEASED TODAY SHOWS: GIRLS’ UNDERREPRESENTATION IN STEM CAREERS IS DRIVEN BY A LACK OF CONFIDENCE

New report by Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) shares findings on girls’ career aspirations and pursuit of STEM careers from survey of 10,000+ U.S. girls

COLUMBUS (October 11, 2018) – On the International Day of the Girl, Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc. (ROX) reveals new findings related to adolescent girls and careers from a national survey of more than 10,000 girls. The largest study of its kind,  The Girls' Index™: New Insights into the Complex World of Today's Girls, provides a deeper understanding of the factors related to girls’ abilities, perceptions and aspirations for their futures.

The findings from this new report entitled, Girls, STEM and Careers: Decoding Girls’ Futures in an Age of Social Media, were released today at Intuit Headquarters in Mountain View, CA as part of this year’s International Day of the Girl celebration.

“The revelations contained in this research study effectively reframe the conversation and highlight the opportunities ahead as we empower the next generation of women leaders to take their seat at the table,” said Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit. “In a world where an understanding of STEM is quickly becoming table stakes, building confidence and capability in girls that their contributions measure up and matter is critical to their individual and our collective success. At Intuit, we have benefited greatly from talented women leading our company at every level, from the board room to our front lines, and we are champions of the important work that Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) is driving to increase the pipeline of interested and capable girls in pursuit of their dreams.”

Made possible with support from Battelle, the Girls, STEM and Careers Impact Report provides a deeper understanding of behaviors, thoughts and perceptions of a national sample of fifth through twelfth grade girls.

"Reaching today's girls means hearing their voices," said Dr. Aimee Kennedy, Senior Vice President of Education and Philanthropy at Battelle. "Those voices come through loud and clear in this report, and anyone who supports young women, as a parent, educator or mentor, should read it."

Research findings include:

  • Girls’ interest in pursuing a career in math and/or science increases 16 percent from fifth to ninth grade, however, during these years there is also a 15 percent decline in girls’ perceived abilities in math and science. Additionally, overall confidence declines as girls get older.

  • While 73 percent of girls believe they are good at math and/or science, this number declines to less than half for Hispanic girls, and only 56 percent of Asian girls. This is in contrast to 77 percent of white/Caucasian girls and 72 percent of black/African American girls.

  • More than 42 percent of girls believe that there are certain jobs that are better for men than women. Additionally, one in three girls believe that boys are encouraged more than girls in the areas of math and science.

“When fifty percent of high school girls report that they are considering a career in a math and/or science field, we celebrate this as a sign that the national efforts to increase girls’ interest in the STEM fields is having a positive impact. However, when nearly the same percentage of girls do not believe they are smart enough for their dream job, we recognize that we need to augment our efforts to support girls personally and academically,” said Dr. Lisa Hinkelman, ROX Founder and Executive Director and principal researcher of The Girls’ Index.