The return of high school mathematics from the beginning of the 2023 school year is great news. This measure was necessary but clearly would not be sufficient to reverse the trend. We call for further action now. Work in a more targeted manner to find girls in scientific fields from the beginning of the 2023 academic year. Also act in a deep and systematic way to develop a firm and ambitious public policy in order to meet the challenges of “France 2030” .
France wants to re-industrialize, regain its position in nuclear energy, conquer the hydrogen value chain, succeed in the environmental and energy transition, and strengthen itself in the digital world … How can we succeed in these challenges without half the talent, girls, then we have a structural shortage of engineers ?
5,000 engineers are missing in the hydrogen sector, 10,000 in the air, air and space sector, 10,000 in the nuclear industry … Every year 38,000 new engineers graduate, while 60,000 are needed.
According to the Mathematics and Science Association Since the baccalaureate reform in 2019, the number of students with scientific attributes has decreased by 24% for a stable number of baccalaureate holders. Even worse, the proportion of girls has fallen even further: among students who receive more than 6 hours of math lessons in a classroom, The number of girls decreased by 61%! And this while, thanks to in-depth and tireless work over the past two decades, the number of girls has increased to account for 47% of students with a baccalaureate in science.
These findings corroborate those of opinion polls conducted by the Society of Engineers and Scientists in France (IESF), as well as those of the Gender Survey. It shows a significant decrease in the number of young girls in science courses. The corollary is that only 1.6% of students choose the Engineering Sciences track in the classroom! and 2.5% from digital and informatics sciences  !
For this sector more specifically, and while it is a major source of innovation and economic development, schools, professional associations and companies have doubled their incentive policies and coordinated their actions in order to attract more talents of all ages and all prospects as well as more women in digital professions. However, the shortage of talent in general and female talent in particular remains chronic and unexplained in the digital world.
The abandonment of girls from science courses is disastrous because of:
Fifth Diversity is an asset to the competitiveness of our industry and our research:
Ø The scientific influence of France at the international level cannot be achieved without more than 50% of the talent pool.
Ø The response to the increasingly important climatic and societal challenges, the re-industrialization projects in France, the challenges of French competitiveness and sovereignty in the European and international arena, and the talent shortages faced by companies and especially digital ones, shows the growing importance of STEM* in training and career paths.
Fifth All the great challenges of our time require mixed female/male teams:
Ø Clean energies, sobriety, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, data management, cybersecurity, etc. are all challenges that are already shaping the future of our society and economy, and that concern, in all their dimensions, both women and men. men.
Ø However, the shortage of talent in the scientific and digital worlds seriously hinders the development of solutions to these challenges. So we wouldn’t be able to build a prosperous and inclusive society without engineers, developers, researchers… indispensable, just to avoid gender bias in the design and operation of solutions.
This is why the members of the collective signatories of this platform advocate to seize this topic from today to strengthen existing initiatives – proven ones – and catalyze the dynamism of scale change.
Work on guiding young men and women to reintegrate them into scientific professions:
- Beyond modifying the common core software as quickly as possible Grade 1 and 12 for mathematics and science subjects, as well as taking up the subject from primary school.
- Promoting methodological procedures for information with prescribers and training as part of the national education for teachers In particular, the principals responsible for directing their training in the areas of science, skills and gender inequality.
- Accelerate the implementation of actions to promote equality between girls and boysas teachers and parents know that boys/girls gap in these math related subjects starts at age 6/7 .
- Set firm, proactive and large-scale ambition through the Multi-Year Skills Orientation Programming Act to meet the challenges of France 2030by taking advantage of the most impactful actions proposed and implemented by associations, higher education institutions or companies.
By Valentin Ferrol, Chief Digital Information Officer, Member of the Board, Laureate Femme en Vue 2015
Co-Signatories (Update 11/18):
Arts and Crafts graduates
Great Schools Conference (CGE)
Ladies and digital allies
Together against discrimination on the basis of sex
G9 + Institute
Great Schools for Women (GEF)
Engineers and Scientists of France (IESF)
HEC Au Feminin
ParisTech Sciences for Women
*: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics),