Over the last ten years, interest in majoring in engineering and computer science has increased among both males and females. However, males are far more interested in pursuing a degree in these fields, with almost 27% of male freshmen indicating an intention to major in engineering, math, statistics, or computer science compared to only 7.1% of female freshmen in 2019.
Fewer females intending to major in engineering results in fewer females graduating with engineering degrees. The National Science Board found that of the 2.6% of female freshmen that had indicated an intention to pursue an engineering degree in 2007, only about 60% of them graduated with an engineering degree within six years.
SWE Efforts to Increase Girls Majoring in STEM
To improve the representation of females in the engineering workforce, we need to increase the interest of young girls to become engineers. SWE’s outreach efforts are focused on middle and high school girls to introduce them to hands-on engineering experiences and expose them to female role models so that they can “Be That Engineer”.
- The Nation’s Report Card: America’s High School Graduates (NCES 2011-462)
- The College Board’s 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation
- National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators
- Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA. The American Freshman: National Norms, annual survey reports.