International Coalition of Girls' Schools

Mercy High School is a Founding Member of the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools, a powerful global network that is united in elevating women’s leadership worldwide by educating and empowering our students to be ethical, globally minded changemakers. ICGS is the leading advocate for girls’ schools, connecting and collaborating globally with individuals, schools, and mission-aligned entities dedicated to educating and empowering girls.

Why Girls' Schools

Learn more about ICGS research, resources and the all-girls school advantage below. Visit for additional practices and programming.

Girls’ schools are more relevant today than ever before.

We believe a school for girls is better than a school with girls.

Girls’ schools are places where girls take center stage. They occupy every seat in student government, every spot on the math team, and every position in the robotics club. In fact, every aspect of a girls’ school – from the classroom to the athletic field to the academic program – is designed for girls. A girls’ school environment adds opportunities for girls.

Whether a girl wants to be an astronaut, ambassador, author, or attorney, girls need to know—not just think, but really know, deep down—there’s nothing that can stand in their way. That’s the incredibly important message girls’ schools send to girls each and every day.

That message, embedded in the nature of girls’ schools, provides powerful, relevant advantages and creates the best environments for girls to learn, grow, and develop.

At their heart, girls’ schools are places of leadership. Places where community and collaboration, agency and self-efficacy flourish. But most of all, girls’ schools are places of incredible innovation.

Whether it was a school that was founded 200 years ago or 2 years ago, inevitably, it’s a school that involves trailblazing, creating spaces where teachers can challenge limits, and inspiring girls to imagine and explore possibilities that perhaps they had never considered before.

Girls’ schools educate girls to become global changemakers—the women we need to help solve the world’s biggest challenges.

Young women at girls’ schools are inspired to become informed, engaged global citizens who lead with courage, competence, and empathy. Research has proven girls’ school graduates display stronger community involvement, greater cultural competency, and increased political engagement.

In comparison to their coeducated peers, young women who attend girls’ schools are more likely to:

become involved in environmental programs deem it essential to participate in community social action programs be frequently active in volunteer work help promote racial understanding value improving their understanding of other countries and cultures count their desire to understand others with different beliefs as a strength view their ability to work cooperatively with diverse people as a strength discuss politics with friends plan to vote in elections value keeping up with political affairs value influencing political structures publicly communicate their opinion about a cause.

Girls’ schools are impacting society’s lack of women going into STEM-related fields.

In addition to the arts and humanities, girls’ schools have a long history of engaging girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects.

Girls’ schools are leading the way in STEM education for women in the world. Graduates of girls’ schools are six times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology and three times more likely to consider engineering compared to girls who attended coed schools.

Why does this happen?

Research tells us it’s for a variety of reasons, but most notably, it’s that students at girls’ schools have an unlimited number of STEM role models. Research findings note it’s beneficial and powerful for girls, in particular, “to see it in order to be it.” So when every student in advanced calculus and physics or on the esports team is a girl, then every other girl at the school gets the clear message they can excel in those areas.

This power of peer role modeling is a primary reason why girls’ schools are producing such disproportionately larger numbers of women in the sciences.

Girls’ schools prepare girls to become women who rise to the highest levels of leadership.

Girls’ schools foster girls’ voices and encourage girls to exercise their voice at a young age.

At girls’ schools, students are encouraged—really, expected—to speak their minds, without interruption. A national survey found that nearly 87% of girls’ school students feel their voices—their opinions—are respected compared to 58% of girls at coed schools.

Girls’ schools do not shelter their students from the real world. To the contrary, the greater sense of respect that girls feel at girls’ schools enables them to better find and use their voices, first in the classroom, and then beyond in boardrooms, on the political stage, or in any other arena.

Girls' Schools Advantage

Click on the numbered topic to jump directly to the ICGS corresponding research quick facts.

1. Greater Cultural Competency

2. Stronger Community Involvement

3. Increased Civic & Political Engagement

4. Fostering Her Voice

5. Develops Leadership Skills

6. Builds Self-Confidence

7. Dedicated to How Girls Learn

8. Inspirational Environment

9. Academic Achievement

10. Fosters Increased Interest & Confidence in STEM

11. Excellent Mentoring

12. Free From Stereotypes

13. Higher Aspirations

14. Prepares Girls for the Real World