GenTIC director, Milagros Sáinz, and researchers Susana González-Pérez and Ruth Mateos de Cabo, from the School of Business & Economics at Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid, co-author a new publication that explores how female role models influence girls’ preferences for STEM studies.
The article presents a study on the impact of the Inspiring Girls Foundation (IGF) program, whose main objective is to raise girls’ aspirations in STEM by connecting them with female role models. The researchers analyzed a field intervention involving actual female role models for young girls in a total of 16 schools in several areas of Spain. Specifically, the authors used an adaptation of the expectancy–value theory of achievement motivation to test the extent to which a role-model intervention improves girls’ beliefs that they can be successful in STEM fields and increases their likelihood of choosing a STEM career.
The results showed that the role-model intervention had a positive and significant effect on mathematics enjoyment, importance attached to math, expectations of success in math, and girls’ aspirations in STEM, and a negative effect on gender stereotypes.