When I eat at restaurants near high tech firms here in Austin, I am used to being surrounded by other men. Many people assume when it comes to engineering or physics, those topics and those careers are primarily for men. Some even claim that men are naturally better at those fields.

Catherine Riegle-Crumb is a sociologist at the University of Texas who decided to explore the gender gap in high school physics classes as a way of finding out why there are fewer women in certain fields.

 “What we found is that in communities that had a higher percentage of women in the labor force who are working in science, technology, engineering and math, that in those schools, girls were as likely as boys to take physics, or even more likely.”

In other words, the study found that what many young girls are lacking is not intelligence or skill, but role models. The study revealed that countries with greater gender equality show balanced math scores for boys and girls.