Women in the STEM Workforce

The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP, www.ngcproject.org) offers many resources to strengthen networks and advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for girls and women at all levels of education. The NGCP provides statistics on the role of women and girls in STEM careers and education pathways.

According to their statistics, women remain underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, although to a lesser degree than in the past, with the greatest disparities occurring in engineering, computer science, and the physical sciences.

  • Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce.
  • Female scientists and engineers are concentrated in different occupations than are men, with relatively high shares of women in the social sciences (62 percent) and biological, agricultural, and environmental life sciences (48 percent), and relatively low shares in engineering (15 percent) and computer and mathematical sciences (25 percent). For example:
    • 35.2 percent of chemists are women;
    • 11.1 percent of physicists and astronomers are women;
    • 33.8 percent of environmental engineers are women;
    • 22.7 percent of chemical engineers are women;
    • 17.5 percent of civil, architectural, and sanitary engineers are women;
    • 17.1 percent of industrial engineers are women;
    • 10.7 percent of electrical or computer hardware engineers are women; and
    • 7.9 percent of mechanical engineers are women.

This article originally appeared in the College Planning & Management October 2018 issue of Spaces4Learning.

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