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Girls avoiding science and maths

5 September 2014
Girls continue to avoid science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related (STEM) subjects that can lead to high paying careers, a new report has found.
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The Women in NSW 2014 Report analyses 90 areas of women’s lives including health and wellbeing, education, work, leadership and safety.

Minister for Women Pru Goward said women’s future economic success and independence was underpinned by the choices they made before exiting school.

“There is no magic bullet to solve the gender pay divide, but careers reliant on the study of STEM subjects can earn women up to double the salaries of vocations women have traditionally pursued,” Ms Goward said.

“Girls are 14% less likely than boys to study STEM courses at the HSC level. And in undergraduate education, it is similarly bleak at 11%.”

The report shows that over the past decade NSW women have taken leaps and bounds in the rate of school and university completions, but the gender wage gap is still a reality.

“In NSW men earn on average $11,000 more per year than women, a smaller gap than the national average of $15,000,” said Ms Goward.

"So encouraging girls to study STEM subjects, and work in industries reliant on these skills is critical if we want to see the statistics improve.”

To help combat this the second-term of the NSW Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity (CWEO) will focus on women’s completion of STEM subjects, as a precursor to women entering into non-traditional careers.

“I’m excited to work with the CWEO board to bring together industry and communities to broaden opportunities for women," Ms Goward said.

Download the Women in NSW 2014 Report

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