Reducing the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education areas could help reduce skills gap, increase employment and productivity of women and reduce occupational segregation. Ultimately this would foster economic growth via both higher productivity and increased labour market activity.
However, despite good employment opportunities and highly productive jobs in this area, there is currently a low proportion of women studying and graduating in STEM subjects.
STEM - GDP
Increasing the participation of women in STEM subjects will have a strong positive GDP impact at EU level.
Closing the gender gap in STEM would contribute to an increase in EU GDP per capita by 2.2 to 3.0% in 2050. In monetary terms, closing the STEM gap leads to an improvement in GDP by €610 - €820 billion in 2050.
Employment Impact of closing gender gaps in STEM Education
STEM – Employment
Closing gender gaps in STEM education would have a positive impact on employment. Total EU employment would rise by 850,000 to 1,200,000 by 2050. These jobs are forecasted mostly in the long term as employment rates will rise only after more women studying STEM finish their education.
The new jobs are likely to be highly productive because women graduating from STEM often progress into high value added positions in sectors such as information and communication or financial and business services.
Higher productivity of STEM jobs is likely to result into higher wages. Remarkably, the study shows a closure of the gender wage gap by 2050.