Employment of Women in Engineering
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 has slightly increased.
In 2019, 31% of women with a STEM Bachelor’s degree entered STEM occupations. Of those, 8.9% worked in engineering occupations whereas 20.9% of men with similar educational attainment worked in engineering occupations (Digest of Education Statistics, 2019).
Employment by Discipline
The percentage of female engineers and computer professionals varies by specialization. Only 8% of mechanical engineers are female compared to 29% of environmental engineers. In the computer industry, only 18% of software developers and 28% of computer and information research scientists are women.
Employment of Women of Color
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 Hispanic women is more than two times lower than that of white men.
SWE Efforts to Increase Representation of Women of Color in the Engineering and Computer Science Workforce
- SWE Public Policy
- SWE Legislative Action Center and Congressional Outreach
- SWE Research on Women of Color in Early Career
- Digest of Education Statistics, 2019.
- National Science Board. 2018. Science and Engineering Indicators 2018. NSB-2018-1. Alexandria, VA: National Science Foundation.
- 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.
- National Science Board. 2021. The STEM Labor Force of Today: Scientists, Engineers, and Skilled Technical Workers.