Our Science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM) workforce is crucial to America’s innovative
capacity and global competitiveness. Yet women are vastly
underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders despite
making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the
college-educated workforce. That leaves an untapped opportunity to
expand STEM employment in the United States, even as there is wide
agreement that the nation must do more to improve its
• Although women fill close to half
of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of
STEM jobs. This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as
college-educated women have increased their share of the overall
• Women with STEM jobs earned 33
percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs – considerably
higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage
gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.
• Women hold a disproportionately low
share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.
• Women with a STEM degree are less
likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation;
they are more likely to work in education or healthcare.
There are many possible factors
contributing to the discrepancy of women and men in STEM jobs,
including: a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and
less family-friendly flexibility in the STEM fields. Regardless of
the causes, the findings of this report provide evidence of a need to
encourage and support women in STEM.
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(Source: Economic and Statistics