A couple of years ago research found 60% of girls believe they can't do maths and science. Why do you think girls can feel less confident about maths than boys?
Years of telling women and girls that they’re not as good at maths and science as their male counterparts has made many people believe it’s true. It’s a common and widespread myth that female brains aren’t designed for maths, women can’t read maps, men have better spatial awareness, the list goes on… When we’re told this over and over again, reinforced by formal tests and studies, we believe it, and even start to live up to the myths ourselves.
Yet when identical tests designed to test spatial awareness, have been repackaged as “empathy” or “social intelligence” tests, areas where women are generally seen as stronger, the gap between girls and boys completely disappears. In fact even just having to tick a box to say whether you’re male or female before sitting a maths test, has a negative effect on girls’ results. It’s not nature holding girls back, it’s messaging and psychology. If we change what we’re saying, tell girls they are built for maths and science, then positivity, confidence and results will follow.