Women Account For Just 14% Of Engineers In The U.S.
2:40 pm, May 7th | by Amy Tennery
We all know women lag behind men in their participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. And there’s no shortage of data to show that even the science-enthused young girls often ditch their STEM dreams by college.
So consider this your latest reminder: Women are still getting psyched out of the high-paying STEM field.
In the last decade, women have accounted for around 60 percent of bachelors degrees holders, according to National Center For Education Statistics compiled by the Green Bay Press Gazette. Yay for women — the problem, of course, is that we’re not really branching out in our studies. And this has overarching consequences for women and the U.S. economy. With women on track to take up a larger and larger portion of the degree holders, our participation in STEM is key — if we’d like the U.S. to remain competitive in science and technology, that is.
Women now account for just 14 percent of engineers and 27 percent of computer science and math pros, according to Congressional Joint Economic Committee data. And, as Lockheed Martin’s President of Information Systems Stephanie Hill pointed out in a recent piece for the Washington Post, part of this has to do with a perception problem:
[There are] many reasons why young women shy away from engineering as a career, including a lack of female engineering role models, having little knowledge of the solution-oriented work of engineers, and misconceptions about engineering being a “solitary” profession… Industry must step up its role in attracting young women to this exciting career where they can truly make a difference in people’s daily lives.
Is a top-to-bottom STEM shift necessary to mobilize women? It would seem that way.