Findings of a research conducted by the Irish Department of Education show gender gap exists between young girls and boys as well, regarding the opportunities to choose STEM subjects in schools. STEM is an abbreviation for subjects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and they are fundamental for many jobs in the future.
The findings present maths and biology are more and more popular among young girls, but other STEM subjects (e.g. technology and engineering) are not so favoured. However, often the reason behind it is not the lack of interest, rather that these subjects can not be chosen in girls-only schools.
Ireland’s secondary-school system consists of two periods, the junior cycle (the first three years) and after that the senior cycle. The report highlights at junior cert level 73% of boys study at least one STEM subjects, three times the 23% of girls. Besides, a significant disparity can be perceived in the percentage of schools offering STEM subjects other than maths, physics, biology or chemistry. In 2018 96% of boys-only schools offered STEM subjects, compared with 56% of girls-only schools.