Are More Women in STEM in Gender-equal Countries?


I had a thought about gender equality in tech this morning.

It’s my understanding that there are statistics of varying quality for the following two things:

  1. Gender equality by country

  2. Percentages of women in STEM fields by country

And since the prevailing theory is that women are under-represented in STEM due to negative and unnatural forces—a point I largely agree with at least for the United States—shouldn’t we see this in the data?

Could we not simply map the STEM percentages to the equality percentages and see if our theory is correct?

We should see a very clear correlation of low equality to low STEM percentages, and high equality to a 50/50 split in STEM.

Here are some countries I can think of to look at data for (I wouldn’t know where to start looking):

  • Scandinavia in general (that region is known to be extremely gender-equal)

  • Nigeria (Low?)

  • Saudi Arabia (Low)

  • United States

  • India

  • Philipines (Low?)

  • Brazil

  • Canada (High?)

Some of these I have guesses for, and others I have no idea what I’d expect to see, but there is a report that one could pull the data on equality from, and if one could find the STEM percentage data it’d just be a matter of mapping it up.

Anyway, I thought it would be fascinating to see.

If the correlation mapped perfectly then it’d be fairly impossible for anyone to argue that it’s not the societal equality issues that are stopping women in STEM. And if STEM rates stayed the same (or even fell) in countries with the highest equality indexes then we on the left would be forced to re-think our position.

I hope someone does this footwork at some point.

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