The importance of friends for stopping leakage from the STEM pipeline

Published on 8 August 2019 at 10:10

Friends with more traditional gender norms push girls out of the STEM-pipeline.

Friends play a crucial role in gender differences in field of study choices. Together with Herman van de Werfhorst (University of Amsterdam) and Stephanie Steinmetz (University of Lausanne), I show that girls are less likely to enter Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) when they have friends with more traditional ideas on how men and women should behave. This means that girls are not choosing STEM fields because their friends do not think it is an 'appropriate' choice for girls. For boys, these norms matter less, but they have more chance of choosing STEM if they have only same-sex friends. Read the full publication here.

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