Debut, a student and graduate careers app, has today published a report that reveals the reason why females aged 16-24 are not pursuing career aspirations in STEM industries. The report reveals that despite almost half (46%) of all females considering a STEM career while at school, only 13% make it through to fulfilling their plans.

The research, which involved 500 females aged 16-24 revealed that their interest in STEM careers ended before leaving secondary school. According to the females asked, the top five ways that secondary schools could fuel their interest in STEM careers more are as follows:

  1. Provide ‘real life’ STEM careers education, such as ‘a day in the life of’ videos (31%)
  2. Make STEM subjects more interesting to learn (23%)
  3. Make STEM industry work experience mandatory (13%)
  4. Promote the fact that STEM careers pay better salaries (10%)
  5. Promote the fact that career progression is better in STEM industries (9%)

The Debut app, which has been downloaded more than 50,000 times, has seen 88% of students register a profile, and from those registered, only 16% are females studying or graduating in STEM subjects, compared to 22% of males.

Since its launch 12 months ago, Debut has showcased 432 STEM roles on the app, however only 34% of all applications received were from females.

Debut has fast become the recruitment method used by most UK graduate employers, including EY, Microsoft, Barclays, Capgemini, Rolls-Royce, L’Oréal, and General Electric – they benefit from being able to ‘weight’ applications, especially in the STEM industries, to promote equal opportunities.

Alice Aspdin, group resourcing at Vodafone Group commented, “As a technology company, partnering with the career app Debut seemed fitting. Debut has since provided us with an easy and efficient way to target thousands of students. Through the use of Talent Spots the platform has enabled us to reach out to a very specific market, making the recruitment process more streamlined for both ourselves and the students.

“Debut has been particularly helpful in supporting us to reach out to females interested in technology careers. Their successful ‘Females in Technology’ event drew in a huge amount of applications for Vodafone Group, with 60% of hires made through Debut being female.”

Charlie Taylor, CEO & founder of Debut, said, “This research has revealed that the UK education system still has a long way to go when it comes to educating females on the positives of entering a STEM industry. That said, schools and teachers are not the only ones accountable for inspiring the next generation – parents and employers have an important role to play.

“It would be great to see more STEM employers going into primary and secondary schools, or better still, live streaming direct from their organisations into the classroom, to give young people an insight into what STEM careers involve. Companies would benefit from this time investment in the long-run.”