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Social class compounds gender bias in STEM subjects

A woman’s social background will play an important role in whether she chooses to study science and engineering subjects at university, a study has found.

Writing for a London School of Economics and Political Science blog, Natasha Codiroli Mcmaster, a PhD student at the Institute for Education at University College London, said her research showed that disadvantaged women were much less likely to study science, technology, engineering and maths at university.

A “vast amount of research” already shows that women generally are less likely to study STEM subjects and this ultimately leads to a divided workforce, Mcmaster said. Graduates in these subjects  will often receive higher than average higher salaries and so this imbalance may make an important contribution to the gender pay gap, she added.

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