Published: 02nd July 2021
Gender in Science: 95 per cent of children consider only male role models as inspiration in STEM fields, finds survey
The survey also highlighted the need for schools to implement hands-on learning and introduce children to the world of innovation
Nearly 95 per cent of children, both girls and boys, recall male role models as inspiration in STEM fields, a recent survey conducted by Avishkaar found. Avishkaar is a platform that works with next-generation technology integrated into education and focuses on robotics, AI, coding, and app development for children.
The survey titled India’s Future in Next-Generation Tech & STEM was conducted in June 2021 and included 5000 parents and 5000 children across Indian cities including Delhi NCR, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, and Kochi.
The survey also found that 50 per cent of parents feel that societal pressures are one of the main reasons for gender disparity in STEM fields in India. Around 42 per cent of them feel that the parents' influence plays a role, while 30 per cent of parents even feel that the work environment in our country in these fields is more suitable for males versus females. The survey also highlighted the need for schools to implement hands-on learning and introduce children to the world of innovation and move away from rote learning techniques. Around 53 per cent of the parents use the hands-on learning approach to keep up their children’s interest levels in next-gen tech and STEM subjects, which includes toys and kits that help their children with application-based learning, the survey found. Only 33 per cent of parents feel that the current school curriculum is enough to help their child prepare for a future in next-gen tech and STEM to some extent. While 90 per cent of parents feel that this aspect of the curriculum should be made a priority in school.
As per the Global Gender Gap Report by World Economic Forum released in March 2021, only an alarming 29.2 per cent of technical roles are held by women in India; in fact, India has fallen 28 places in its ranking in 2021 when compared to 2020 - from Rank 112 to Rank 140. This survey was conducted by Avishkaar against this backdrop. Commenting on the insights from the survey, Pooja Goyal, COO, and Co-founder, Avishkaar said, "It is heartening to see that parents are making conscious choices to ensure they nurture an innovative mindset among their children. I’m convinced that If our children have to thrive in the world of tomorrow, we need to create micro-environments in schools and homes that make it safe for children to experiment, to take risks, to fail, to think outside the box, to break things, and to build new things. We need to ensure that our children are not mere consumers but creators of technology."