ACCORDING to Unesco data, globally, women are progressing toward parity in higher education (they represent 45 to 55 percent of bachelor and master levels of study and 44 percent of PhD's). However, when looking at those disciplines driving advances in the digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution — key drivers of the post-pandemic recovery — such as ICT, computer sciences, physics, mathematics or engineering women remain a minority.

This is consistent with recent ERIA (Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia) research on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region: while an increasing number of girls and women are accessing science-related skills and education, the majority of them are concentrated in the life sciences and much fewer are studying STEM-related disciplines. The numbers show an even more concerning trend with respect to leadership position (in both the public and the private sector) in these fields.

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