Publish Date: Mar 24, 2021


Originally published by the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media

The British Consulate partnered with the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media to conduct the first systematic assessment of the role media plays in this persistent STEM gender gap. In the UK, men outnumber women three-to-one in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions (78% compared with 22%). This enormous gender gap persists, despite decades of government and private programs aimed at increasing the number of girls and women in STEM. Understanding what messages girls, boys, and gender non-conforming kids are getting about STEM in their favourite TV shows is key to understanding whether this powerful medium is encouraging or discouraging girls from pursuing STEM.

The report examines representations of STEM characters in the top UK children’s film, television, and streaming content. It found that female STEM characters in US content are far more likely to be depicted sacrificing their personal lives for work than STEM characters in the UK (42.9% compared with 5.5%). While the US has achieved gender parity for female lead characters in children’s television, and the percentage of female STEM characters is roughly equal in the US and the UK, the number of female STEM leads is higher in the UK compared to the US (39.3% and 37.1%, respectively). Download the study for more findings.

Bibliographic information

Publisher: Geena Davis Institue for Gender in Media

Year: 2021

Region: United Kingdom and United States