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How important is STEAM for Young Women and Girls?

A recent survey by U-Report India, (a digital platform by UNICEF that engages young people in programme priorities, emergency response and advocacy actions), revealed some interesting insights into how young Indian female youth feel about their future in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) sector.

The survey, which was conducted on August 2, 2023, received responses from 17,620 U-Reporters across India, with the highest participation from Haryana (7,107 responders), followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,768 responders) and Bihar (1,932 responders).

The survey aimed to understand the aspirations, challenges, and opportunities of young people in pursuing STEAM education and careers, as well as their views on gender equality and social impact in this sector.

The survey results showed that most of the respondents (79%) were interested in pursuing a career in STEAM fields, with engineering being the most popular choice (38%), followed by technology (24%) and science (18%). However, only 58% of the respondents felt confident about their chances of getting a job in STEAM fields after completing their education. The main reasons for their lack of confidence were the lack of guidance and mentorship (35%), the lack of quality education and infrastructure (28%), and the lack of opportunities and exposure (20%). Moreover, only 48% of the respondents felt that they had adequate access to STEAM learning resources and opportunities in their schools or communities.