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SWE’s statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Read More

Retention in the Engineering Workforce

Women’s low retention in the engineering workforce is a concerning issue. According to the 2010 National Survey of College Graduates, 50% of women who are recent engineering graduates (0-4 years since they earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering) work in engineering jobs. Similarly, 54% of men who are recent engineering graduates work in engineering jobs. However, a gender gap is observed among those who have long since earned their engineering degree. For example, among those who earned their engineering degrees 10-14 years ago, only 36% of women engineering graduates are employed in engineering jobs while 43% of men are. Still, this gender gap widens among those who earned their engineering degrees 30-34 years ago. Among this group of graduates, only 19% of women work in engineering jobs but almost twice as many men (36%) work in engineering jobs.

Retention
Source: SESTAT, 2010 and 2019 National Survey of College Graduates

In 2019, despite a higher proportion (61%) of recent women engineering graduates (0-4 years since engineering degree completion) working in engineering jobs compared to their male counterparts (54%), we observe similar declines among women as the number of years since earning their engineering degrees increases. Beginning with women who completed their engineering degrees 15-19 years ago, only 20% of them work in engineering occupations. This proportion of women remains about the same (21%) among those who graduated with engineering degrees earlier (30-34 years). In contrast, 34% of men who earned their degree 30-34 years ago work in engineering jobs.

Retention
Source: SESTAT, 2010 and 2019 National Survey of College Graduates

SWE Efforts to Increase Female Representation in the Engineering and Computer Science Workforce


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