In practically every region of the world, men are more likely than women to say they know some or a lot about science, even when schooling for both men and women are the same. In Northern Europe, which for this study includes countries, such as the United Kingdom, Finland, and Sweden
, three-quarters of men said they know at least “some” science, whereas only 58 percent of women reported the same level of scientific awareness, producing a 17-point gap in perceived science knowledge. The Middle East, South America, and Southeast Asia were the only regions with no significant knowledge gap, according to Wellcome Monitor
The World Economic Forum’s most recent Global Gender Gap report established that only 16 percent of all female students graduate with STEM degrees compared to 30 percent of all male students who earn degrees in the field. Tripling the participation of women in computing fields alone could cumulatively boost earnings by $299 billion over the next ten years, a huge boon for economic development. Looking at where women underrate their science knowledge gives a clue into how the gap is formed. Changing how people think about who is considered capable of science and who is not, ultimately translates into these other academic and career disparities.