– Women have made substantial progress in preparing for careers in science and engineering (S&E), earning half (50%) of the bachelor’s degrees, 44% of the master’s and 37% of the doctorates awarded in S&E fields in 2003-04, according to the latest compendium of education, employment and demographic data, Professional Women and Minorities, published by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. The gains in science and engineering by underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans) have been slower, but overall, progress is being made. URMs earned 16% of the bachelor’s degrees, 11% of the master’s, and nearly 6% of the doctorates awarded in S&E in 2003-0.
The 16th edition of Professional Women and Minorities contains a wealth of current and historical data on the status of women and minorities in science and engineering education and employment. The data are presented in 350 tables and charts, broken out by gender, race/ethnicity, citizenship and field. The data trace the gains made by women and members of minority groups and show the shortfalls of these groups, particularly in science and engineering, as they move toward parity in these fields. Specifically the report finds:
• Over the past forty years, women have more than doubled their share of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in science and engineering. In 1966, they earned one quarter of the S&E baccalaureates (24.8%); in 2004, they earned half (50.4%). At the master’s level, women earned just 13.3% of the S&E degrees in 1966, but in 2004 they earned 43.6%. At the doctorate level, while women earned 37.4% of the S&E doctorates awarded in 2004, nearly five times the percentage they earned in 1966 (8.0%).
• Women have made great inroads toward preparing for careers in medically-related fields and law. In the last two decades, women entered these areas in such numbers that they received a majority of the first professional degrees awarded in optometry...