Working-class and low-income women face a significant long-term risk of entrenched poverty if major changes are not implemented across various layers of the employment and education system. This situation could limit opportunities for upward mobility and create generational cycles of poverty. To promote economic empowerment for this vulnerable group, a multi-faceted approach is needed, addressing both educational opportunities and employment pathways.
The STEM Passport for Inclusion in Ireland aims to support girls who are Socio-Economically Disadvantaged in pursuing STEM education and careers. The programme is a joint initiative by Maynooth University, Microsoft Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of Education that addresses inequalities with access to STEM careers among secondary school students in socially disadvantaged communities.
The Institute for Methods Innovation has been contracted to conduct an impact evaluation of the STEM Passport for Inclusion programme. We are assessing the effectiveness of the extension of the project in promoting young women’s engagement and success in STEM fields. The evaluation will focus on the project’s impact on students’ perception and confidence in STEM, as well as its overall effectiveness in challenging gender stereotypes and increasing participation in science subjects among secondary school girls in Ireland.