Gender pay gap: In all engineering and computer occupations, the median earnings of women are less than those of men. The size of the gap varies by discipline, with female mechanical engineers having the smallest earnings cap (95% of male median earnings) while women in other fields are receiving only 85% to 93% of the median earnings of their male colleagues.
Source: 2020 American community survey (5-yr estimates), Tables B24122 and B24123.
Earnings Gap for Women of Color in STEM: According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, underrepresented minorities in STEM earn much less than their White counterparts. For instance, black women earn about 87% of white women’s salary and about 62% of white men’s salary. Hispanic women earn about 85% of white women’s salary and about 61% of white men’s salary.
Source: Pew Research Center, January 2018. “Women and Men in STEM Often at Odds Over Workplace Equity.”
Earning Gap at Different Degree Levels: Although the salary difference between men and women with science and engineering degrees seems to decrease as the educational level attained increases, there is still a sizable difference at the doctoral level with men earning about 21% more than women. Moreover, salary differences still persist at each post-secondary degree level even after controlling for characteristics such as, race/ethnicity, geographic region, parental education, and field of degree.
Earning Gap by State: According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, women engineers’ average salary is between 77% and 111% of men’s average salary. Overall, women engineers in most states have average salaries that are between 80% and 89% of those of men engineers.
However, there are some regional differences. The majority of western states, including Oregon and Utah, women engineers are close to achieving gender parity in mean earnings or earn more than men engineers. In Nevada, for instance, while women represent only 10% of engineers, they earn, on average, $100,000 while men earn about $91,000. Still, in other western states, such as California and Washington, women earn between 80% and 89% of what men engineers do.
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SWE Efforts to Address the Pay Gap
- 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/.
- Pew Research Center, January 2018. “Women and Men in STEM Often at Odds Over Workplace Equity.” Available at http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2018/01/09142305/PS_2018.01.09_STEM_FINAL.pdf
- 2020 American community survey (5-yr estimates), Tables B24122 and B24123, https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=b24122&tid=ACSDT5Y2020.B24122