Over time, more females have entered STEM occupations. While the life sciences have seen an overall reduction in the gender gap, the percentage of women in engineering and computer science occupations has stagnated.
In 2017, less than 30% of women with a STEM bachelor’s degree entered STEM occupations. Of those, only 8% worked in engineering occupations, whereas 19% of men with similar educational attainment worked in engineering occupations.
The percentage of female engineers and computer professionals varies by specialization. Only 8% of mechanical engineers are female compared to 26% of environmental engineers. In the computer industry, only 19% of software developers and 21% of computer programmers are women.
Employed Women of Color with a STEM Bachelor’s degree: Among 25- to 34-year-olds with a STEM bachelor’s degree, the proportion of women employed in engineering and computing occupations is lower than that of men of the same racial/ethnic background. Moreover, the proportion of Black and Asian women is more than three times lower than that of white men.
SWE Efforts to Increase Representation of Women of Color in the Engineering and Computer Science Workforce
- Capitol Hill Day
- SWE Research on Women of Color in Early Career
- Digest of Education Statistics, 2017.
- National Science Board. 2018. Science and Engineering Indicators 2018. NSB-2018-1. Alexandria, VA: National Science Foundation. Available at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/indicators/.
- Corbett, C., & Hill, C. (2015). Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women.