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Why encourage more girls into STEM fields?
The gender pay gap in Latin America and the Carribean is considerable. In LAC labour markets, women tend to be employed in relatively low-paid sectors whereas STEM field sectors tend to lead to more lucrative careers. On average, in LAC countries, men are almost three times as likely to be employed in STEM fields than women, with even larger disparities in Chile, Mexico and Colombia. STEM fields are often perceived as traditionally masculine domains, and these stereotypes start from school age. We can work towards breaking these gender stereotypes by encouraging girls to explore STEM subjects from a younger age, showing girls that the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is open to them too.
OECD work on gender in LAC
Women represent a significant source of economic growth and poverty reduction in LAC. Yet, despite rising levels of education, only 52% of women in the region were employed in 2020, compared to 75% of men. This is explained by the fact that women tend to take more responsibility for care activities, which hinders their opportunities to integrate and succeed in the labour market.
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