A CLOSER LOOK AT THE DATA

We often lament the lack of progress seen in diversifying the engineering and technology professions. While progress has been slow, the data show that more women are graduating with engineering bachelor’s degrees than 10 years ago.

By Roberta Rincon, Ph.D., SWE Associate Director of Research

Credit: Mykyta Dolmatov

While total engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded almost doubled between 2010 and 2020, approximately 2.5 times more engineering bachelor’s degrees were earned by women in 2020 compared with 2010.

More women than ever are earning engineering degrees; however, their representation of total degrees earned has increased at a relatively slow pace, from 17% to approximately 21% between 2010 and 2020. Disaggregating degrees earned by discipline, however, we see great variations. Some disciplines are much closer to reaching gender parity than others.

Mechanical engineering awards the highest number of bachelor’s degrees among the engineering disciplines, both in total degrees awarded and among women. But women’s share of total degrees awarded in mechanical engineering is one of the lowest among the engineering disciplines. Women are much more concentrated in biomedical, chemical, and environmental engineering; more than 20% of women earning engineering degrees specialize in these disciplines.

To read the Earnings Gap report, please visit SWE’s research site at: https://swe.org/research/2022/earning-gap/

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