I Wish survey 2020

Potential link between girls who play sport and pursue STEM uncovered

More than 2,500 second level girls participate in I Wish 2020 survey
Image: I Wish

18 December 2020

Eighty-three percent of Irish girls agree that role models in STEM are very important. This comes from the I Wish 2020 Survey, which saw over 2,500 second-level girls participated in this survey.

The largest study of secondary school girls and their attitudes towards STEM in Ireland, I Wish also found that 86% of girls consider STEM a growing area of opportunity, while 85% said they would like to know more about STEM.

While the survey results skewed positively for the future of women in STEM, there’s still some way to go as just 68% of girls disagreed that STEM is more suited to boys than girls.




I Wish 2020 uncovered a potential link between girls who play sport and their pursuit of STEM. With a trend showing that a girl who plays more than four hours of sport a week could be as much as 89% more likely to have studied higher level maths to Junior Cert and could be as much as 32% more likely to have studied Junior Cert science. Furthermore, the survey showed that girls who play more than two hours of organised sport per week were more likely to agree that they would pursue a career in a male-dominated area.

These results were announced as I Wish announced its 2021 virtual event. Set to take place on 4 March, I Wish 2020 will see over 10,000 female second level students, industry leaders and stakeholders tuning in live to a digital event.

The event will combine a main stage with Ted Talk-style key notes, plus special ‘day in the life’ videos, interactive showcases from industry partners including Arup, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, and a Social Media Hub where students and industry partners can engage directly with the event. There will also be interviews with some of the women shaping a better world through STEM.

I Wish was designed to raise awareness of, and build excitement amongst, teenage girls on the myriad of opportunities that a STEM career can offer women. Since its launch in 2015, over 22,000 girls attended I Wish showcase events. In 2020 alone, the events held over four days in Cork and Dublin secured in excess of 6,000 student registrations from 22 counties with 25% DEIS representation and with 242 teachers in attendance, 64 exhibitors and 140 speakers.

Registration for I Wish 2021 is open, for more information visit www.iwish.ie

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