Compass Brief: Missing out on Half of the World’s Potential: Fewer Female Than Male Top Achievers in Mathematics and Science Want a Career in These Fields

Research from international large-scale assessments (ILSAs) shows that the achievement gaps between girls and boys in mathematics and science have narrowed or vanished. Nonetheless, girls are less likely to aspire a career in the mathematics related field according to the latest compass brief.

Using data from TIMSS 2019 for grade 8, the authors scrutinize the relationships between gender, mathematics and science achievement each, confidence in the respective domains, and students’ respective career aspirations.

Whereas gender differences regarding the relationship between confidence in science and pursuing a science related job seem to be at least less pronounced, the compass brief shows that boys want to pursue a job involving mathematics as adults significantly more than girls of the same achievement level.