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Gender Balance in STEM Education Advisory Group

  • 21 July 2021

Gender Balance in STEM Education Advisory Group
Department of Education

July 2021

The Gender Balance in STEM Education Advisory Group has completed phase 1 of its work with the development a set of recommendations. These will be submitted to the Department of Education's STEM Education Implementation Advisory Group shortly. The recommendations arise from the work of the group and informed by the literature review launched by Minister Foley in November 2020. Thanks to all in the group for the work, particularly the chair Margie McCarthy of SFI and Karen Murtagh and Maeve Price of the Department of Education.

November 2020

The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD launched Review of Literature to Identify a Set of Effective Interventions for Addressing Gender Balance in STEM in Early Years, Primary and Post-Primary Education Settings on 17 November 2020.

The report sets out what is known about critical barriers to girls’ participation in STEM education and STEM learning, while also highlighting effective interventions to increase participation of girls in STEM. The STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026 acknowledges that there is a need to increase the uptake of STEM subjects and to enhance STEM learning for learners of all backgrounds, abilities and gender, with a particular focus on uptake by females. The research was commissioned under the auspices of the Department of Education by the Gender Balance in STEM group, a sub-group of the Department’s STEM Education Implementation Advisory Group.

Overview

The STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026 and the accompanying Implementation Plan 2017-2019 were published at the end of November 2017. The STEM Education Implementation Advisory Group was established in 2019 to advise, support, and oversee the implementation of the Policy Statement and accompanying Implementation Plan. In order to identify and support best practice methods to improve gender balance in the access to and participation in STEM learning experiences the Implementation Advisory Group set up the Gender Balance in STEM Education Advisory Group.

Margie McCarthy from Science Foundation Ireland is chair of the Group. Members come from the Department of Education, UCD, CASTel, DCU, WITS, iWish, National Parents Council, Teen Turn, Institute of Physics, Engineers Ireland, Ardgillan Community College and CWIT. WITS member Dr Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain is a member of the group and WITS is formally represented by Dr Marion Palmer.