A recent report by the education charity Teach First has brought to light an alarming gender confidence gap among British students, particularly in the fields of math and science.

Findings reveal that over 50% of British girls lack confidence in learning math, while over 40% feel insecure about science. The numbers for boys lacking confidence in math and science, however, are 41% and 26% respectively.

Even with these confidence gaps, girls usually perform better than boys in STEM subjects at GCSE level, yet fewer continue these subjects at A-levels and pursue STEM careers after that. And with the STEM sector already facing a skills shortage, poor gender diversity exacerbates the issue.

Teach First emphasizes the importance of recruiting high-quality, specialist teachers to inspire the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals. However, many schools, particularly in math, computing, and physics, struggle to attract and retain such teachers.

“Empowering more girls to take up Stem and shine in the field will significantly benefit all Stem scientists. It will ensure that the workforce is empowered to work together,” suggested Teach First-trained Sylvia Jolly, a science teacher at the Robert Clack School in Dagenham, Essex.

Closing the gender confidence gap in STEM involves supporting girls, recruiting specialist teachers, and fostering inclusivity. These measures will ensure equal opportunities, empowering all students to excel in these areas and contribute to a diverse, innovative future workforce.

Picture: Mary Claire playing MATHnimals (ChildUp.com)