I’ve always known that women were outnumbered in STEM fields in this country, but hadn’t really checked on what the stats are. I know that in my particular job, which is a very tiny sub-field, we’re at about 9% and, thankfully, climbing (it was 7% just a few years ago). So I found this info from the National Girls Collaborative Project very interesting. It’s from June 2013 but probably pretty close to today’s numbers.
A couple other interesting stats, first from an ESA blog post from 2011 title STEM: where are the women?
And this more recent one showing breakdown by generation, Economic Briefing April 24, 2012: STEM Across the “Gen(d)erations.” The overall percentage of college graduates and of women in STEM fields is increasing.
The ESA stats go on to show that the bulk of women in STEM fields are in life sciences and physical sciences, and the tiniest portion in math.
The one that makes me really angry is the one showing the wage gap for women in STEM fields. Even in specialized fields requiring degrees, and fields supposedly governed by things like logic and performance, this gap is maddeningly huge:
And finally there’s this graphic, which shows the fields where we have not made much progress in the last several decades, and in many cases have regressed, such as in computer sciences.
What do you think is holding women back from entering and competing in so many of these fields? Why do so many more women go into life sciences fields (biology, medicine, etc.) than the computer sciences and engineering?