Talented beta girls and their attitudes towards stem careers


Martina Meelissen


Although the enrollment of girls in advanced math and science programs in Dutch higher secondary education (HAVO/VWO) has increased during the last ten years, they continue to be underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations. This underrepresentation can also be found in STEM-related programs in lower and higher vocational education and at the university level. The main goal of this project is explore why a so many talented beta girls in the various educational tracks do not end up in a STEM-related profession in the Netherlands and to what extent the Dutch situation differs from other countries. This project consists of two parts:


A review of recent literature addressing gender differences in STEM education and careers


Analyses of PISA 2015 data to explore the relations between ability, attitudes and self-efficacy in mathematics and science and STEM career aspirations of 15 year-old students in the different tracks (VMBO, HAVO, VWO) and a comparison between the Netherlands and another (neighboring) country that is more successful in keeping beta girls in STEM education and careers.


You do not have to be a statistical expert for this project. There is sufficient support available during the project. However, you have to be interested in and willing to learn how to analyse a large international dataset such as PISA. More information about PISA 2015 can be found at https://www.oecd.org/pisa/

We expect that the international data of PISA 2015 will be available at the beginning of 2017.