A dissemination of the findings of the report on factors that affect women in the uptake of STEM courses and careers. Download the FULL report here.
Akirachix in partnership with Research Solutions Africa designed a research to contribute to the understanding of the factors influencing women’s uptake of science-related subjects and professions in Kenya. The focus of the research was on the core STEM fields of Science, Technology (ICT) Engineering, Agricultural Sciences, Mathematics, Architecture, Medicine and Construction. Findings of the research show that differences in interest in STEM, between women in STEM and those outside of STEM (non-STEM) fields and careers are fairly less pronounced. This raises significant interest into how women’s STEM-related intents and choices eventually get reoriented even when they seem to show positive attitudes towards STEM, and how changeable this situation may be.
To address the above question, it was necessary to obtain a better understanding of the factors influencing the STEM intentions and choices of women. In this regard, the survey examined informative, educational, psychological, and social factors that may be responsible for the shifts. The investigation was relatively consistent in the sense that all the four factors were found to be predictors of women’s STEM intentions, in this case the strength of the correlation varying according to specific career fields.
In the same vein, the study investigated how specific gender biased perceptions influences career choice of women. In respect to choice of specialty, the analyses bore three factors which showed that women consider “learning environment” to be more important factors in their choice, and “ability and performance” and “values and interests.” On the other hand, in respect to choice of occupation, “personal interests” was considered to be more important reasons for choice, and “societal norms” and “abilities and skills” to be less important.
“Out of a national random survey of Kenyan women, both rural & urban, aged 15+ (1,666 respondents) only one woman was in ICT”