Gender differences in STEM enrolment and graduation: What are the roles of academic performance and preparation?

Articles and reports: 36-28-0001202101100004


Despite women outnumbering men in postsecondary institutions, women are considerably less likely to select the higher paying STEM fields, which could be a factor in the gender wage gap. While many studies have examined the persistent underrepresentation of women in STEM programs among postsecondary graduates, the goal of this study is to advance the Canadian evidence in three ways. First, the study distinguishes between two types of gender differences in the probability of selecting STEM-related fields in a bachelor’s degree program: those that are conditional on enrolment in a bachelor’s degree program and those that are unconditional on doing so. Second, the study highlights gender differences in specific STEM programs. Third, the study addresses the substantial sample attrition affecting longitudinal household surveys that have been used to study the issue in several previous studies. To do so, the study uses an administrative dataset that provides detailed academic performance information on students from kindergarten to Grade 12 in Canada’s third-most populous province, British Columbia.

Issue Number: 2021011
Volume: 1
Author(s): Chan, Ping Ching Winnie; Handler, Tomasz; Frenette, Marc
FormatRelease dateMore information
HTMLNovember 24, 2021
PDFNovember 24, 2021