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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.

Women in STEM Occupations

The most recent Science and Engineering Indicators report (2022) indicated that women represented about 34% of all STEM workers in 2019. Moreover, women comprised about 44% of STEM workers with at least a bachelor’s degree, which is a slight rise from 42% in 2010. However, women still represented about 26% of STEM workers without a bachelor’s degree in 2019; they represented the same proportion of STEM workers without a bachelor’s degree in 2010 as well.

Proportion of STEM Workers Women
National Science Board, National Science Foundation. 2022. Science and Engineering Indicators 2022: The State of U.S. Science and Engineering.

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).

Men and Women Employed in STEM

Employment by Discipline

The percentage of female engineers and computer professionals varies by specialization. Only 9% of mechanical engineers are female compared to 32% of environmental engineers. In the computer industry, only 18% of software developers and 26% of computer and information research scientists are women.

Employed Engineers

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.

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SWE Efforts to Increase Representation of Women of Color in the Engineering and Computer Science Workforce

Additional Resources