Report: Female Students Beat Male Counterparts in Tech and Engineering Test

Leticia Fonseca, Sylvia Fonseca
The Associated Press

Female students beat males in the Technology and Engineering Literacy test, according to a report released Tuesday. Only 42% of males scored “proficient” or higher on the test, while 45% females scored proficient.

“We did not expect this pattern,” said Peggy Carr from the National Center for Education Statistics, despite reiterating that evidently “girls have the abilities and critical thinking skills needed to succeed in fields of technology and engineering.”

When the scores were broken down into genders within race, it was established that white females scored 162 points – 4 points more than their male counterparts – while black females scored five points more than their black male counterpart at 131 points.

Only Asian and Hispanic students scored similar points to the opposite sex of their race.

“[The result] certainly causes concern, as well as confirms many issues we confront as a country,” said the president of non-profit organisation Lead the Way, Vince Bertram. “We have a skills gap and an aspirations gap.”

The report comes after concerns over the past few years that women are worse off than their male counterparts in education, and particularly the technology and engineering sector.

“To the women in my engineering classes… you and I are unequal,” wrote a university engineering student in a letter last October. The letter, which ended up going viral, listed all of the reasons why men are more privileged in the engineering sector, but it appears the situation has now flipped.

Though the Financial Times reports that “just over a quarter of science technicians are female” and that “women comprise just 15 per cent of ICT professionals and 5.5 per cent of engineers,” men are falling behind in terms of education in those sectors according to the recent Tech and Engineering Literacy test.

“Women are accelerating so far ahead of men in higher education that within a decade the gender divide at universities and colleges will be greater than the rich-poor divide,” reported I News on the recent warning from the UK’s Head of Admissions. “The report warns that 18-year-old women are now 35 per cent more likely to go to university than men – and points out that if the trend continues, girls born this year will be 75 per cent more likely to enroll in higher education than their male peers.”