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Projects

SESTEM- Supporting Gender Equality in Science Technology and Mathematics related choices of careers

10 November 2011

The study "SESTEM"(Supporting Equality in Science Technology and Mathematics related choices of careers) addresses the wide problem of gender imbalance in STEM. In the EC, there is evidence to suggest that the problem on access and retention of females in STEM remains an unresolved issue.

 

Likewise we lack tools so as to allow to reflect on good practices in supporting choices making for careers in STEM by girls. It focuses on issues related to gender differences across this triangulation factors: family, school and individual.

The low uptake of Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) constitutes a research and policy concern world wide for some time now. In the EC, while the related benchmark appears to have been achieved there is evidence to suggest that the problem on access and retention of females in STEM remains an unresolved issue. Likewise we lack tools so as to allow to reflect on good practices in supporting choices making for careers in STEM by girls.

 

SESTEM is built on the premise that the study of the uptake of STEM studies by girls and their retention in the field can benefit from investigation into the triangulation of family-individual and school (secondary and tertiary) factors. Under this scope SESTEM aims to conduct four interrelated comparative studies engaging students, pupils, parents and teachers (both secondary and tertiary levels). Both qualitative (in depth interviews, conceptual mapping, tandem based dialoguing and review into existing literature) and quantitative (collection and analyses of data from across the Member States using on-line survey methods, and meta-analyses of existing statistical data) methods will be applied.

 

SESTEM presents a review of the key discussionstaking place in Europe focusing on gender and student’s motivations regarding orientation and career’s choices. This provided a basis for the qualitative and quantitative study, giving preliminary reflections on possible actions that could be developed to reverse the situation.

 

SESTEM, through its studies aims to deepen understanding into the process of decision making in career choices, the process of enhancing school-family collaboration in support of girls' engagement in STEM and into the contextual, cultural and social conditions that support retention of women in STEM related fields of studies especially beyond the level of a Bachelors' degree. The consolidation of studies results will define and articulate a set of composite indicators (complemented with parental and teacher good practice guidelines) for supporting policy reflection and monitoring progress towards  supporting to girls towards choices of careers in STEM and related fields, then achieving equity in STEM.

 

The project's tangible outputs are to be localized in the languages of GR, FR, DE, EN, ES and PL. It is envisioned that project in the short term will have an impact on parental-school collaboration and on the long term on increasing girls retention in STEM.

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Articles

Position Paper SESTEM Project

04 November 2011

The study "SESTEM"(Supporting Equality in Science Technology and Mathematics related choices of careers) addresses the wide problem of gender imbalance in STEM. In the EC, there is evidence to suggest that the problem on access and retention of females in STEM remains an unresolved issue.

Likewise we lack tools so as to allow to reflect on good practices in supporting choices making for careers in STEM by girls. It focuses on issues related to gender differences across this triangulation factors: family, school and individual.

 

In this document, SESTEM introduces the project itself, presents a review of the key discussions taking place in Europe focusing on gender and student’s motivations regarding orientation and career’s choices, with suggestions derived from the results of the project. We hope this document will inspire a productive discussion in this community.

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News

Sharing our experiences and getting new insights

03 November 2011

 

During three weeks - 22 November till 12 of December 2011 - a forum will be opened to to get new insights from practitioners and experts into gender stereotypes and on how to fight and valorize practices that will help stakeholders to implement actions for promoting the participation of girls into STEM careers.

 

For supporting the discussion, documents and current data will be available.

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Directory

womenintechnology

08 September 2008
Online job board, networking and event group for women working in technology jobs in the UK
Articles

Tools to Achieve the Inclusion of Females in ICT

29 August 2005
The project Pro::ICT has developed a Database of free training material to make women benefit from information technologies.
PRO::ICT is an innovative approach to increase gender participation in ICT. The project addresses inequalities of female participation in the IT sector by an eLearning Module for Gender Sensitive Training and, particularly, the Collection of Best Practice Training Materials Database.

The database provides supportive advice and best practise solution in particular for parents, teachers at schools and colleges, youth trainers, job counsellors and human resource managers. Users have free access to different – non commercial – tools. Three different types of materials are available according to the intended learning objective: 
  1. Self-assessment tools, sensitivity material and workshop programmes which are supporting the mindset of the participant.
  2. Handbooks and guidelines on how to introduce gender sensitive strategies and activities in organisations. The learning objective is to find a good match for female students going for an ICT education with the institutional framework of an IT education. 
  3. Information materials about the ICT labour market, case studies and others. These materials serve as background information about the changing demands in the ICT labour market.

Europe’s Best Practice projects and actions have been examined and evaluated before taking out the most relevant for this expert proofed database.

A part from the PRO::ICT initiative, other projects has also worked in a similar direction. For instance, the United Nations has developed the Directory of UN Resources on Gender and Women’s Issues, a useful source of information about training modules and learning materials, some of them Online. The UNESCO has also the Helpful gender Training Website with a compilation of useful internet resources.

A study shows how to support girls
The research group of the PRO::ICT project carried out research about the multiple factors influencing the chances of women to work continously in the ICT sector. The study "Female students make it in IT, but change needs a chance!" highlights barriers and needs of change agents and sets out stratgies and activities on how to support girls to follow an ICT career.

The study aims to set out blueprints to develop professional gender-sensitive training and consulting concepts to be implemented in practice. Thus the main study can be seen as a milestone for developing a collection of professional gender-sensitive training material. These materials include workshop designs, information material about the ICT market and occupations, handbooks and guidelines for organisational interventions, case studies and the presentation of successful women as role models. The study can be downloaded from the PRO::ICT website.

The PRO::ICT project has been funded by the European Programme Leonardo da Vinci. Eleven European partner institutions from 7 countries joined together in the PRO::ICT Consortium.
Project Coordinator:
Salzburg Research, Austria
Veronika Hornung-Prähauser
Jakob-Haringer Str. 5/III
A-5020 Salzburg
veronika.hornung@salzburgresearch.at  


Related information:
Survey “Gender demands on e-learning”
Meßmer, Ruth; Schmitz, Sigrid University of Freiburg, Germany
http://mod.iig.uni-freiburg.de/publikationen/online-publikationen/Gender%20demands%20on%20e-learning.pdf

Forum for gender research in computer science and natural science, University of Freiburg
http://mod.iig.uni-freiburg.de/forschung/gin/kompetenzzentrum-gin-eng.html

LizzyNet, a german educational portal for girls
http://www.lizzynet.de/dyn/9.asp?Aid=66&Avalidate=408474147&cache=39681&url=71038%2Easp

Women’s Studies at Utrech University
http://www.let.uu.nl/womens_studies/

Advanced Thematic Network in Activities in Women’s Studies in Europe
http://www.let.uu.nl/womens_studies/athena/
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