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Trends & Stats

SWE uses many different methods to track the advancement of our mission and the success of our programs. Third party research found in this section focuses on statistics related to women in the workplace, women enrolling in engineering and a variety of resources available for those interested in diversity initiatives.

Links to trends and statistics:

  • SWE Magazine's Annual Literature Review provides expert analysis of peer-reviewed research on women in engineering and the STEM disciplines in general, with a focus on women's issues. Literature Reviews from 2001 through 2012 is available as a compilation.

  • The National Science Board Science and Engineering Indicators 2014 provides a broad base of quantitative information on the U.S. and international science and engineering enterprise.
Additional Resources
Workplace

Workplace Statistics About Women in Engineering in the USA

Compiled by the Society of Women Engineers from NSF and Census Data

Number of Employed Engineers by Sex - Graph | Table

Disciplines of Employed Engineers by Sex - Graph | Table

Engineering Disciplines Compared to All Engineering - Graph | Table

Median Annual Engineering Salaries by Sex and Years Since Degree - Graph | Table

The information on these pages comes from these sources:

  1. National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators - 1998.

  2. National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators - 2000.

  3. National Science Board, Science & Engineering Indicators - 2002.

  4. Statistical Abstract of the United States - 1995,1996,1997,1998,1999,2000

Other good sources of information are:

  1. National Science Foundation, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering:1998.
  2. National Science Foundation, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering:2000.
  3. National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources and Statistics; data from Department of Education/National Center for Education Statistics: Integrated Post Secondary Education Data Completions Survey.

The data contained in these documents is free to the public. These publications are available as .pdf files at

http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/stats.htm

http://www.census.gov/prod/www/statistical-abstract-us.html

Please be aware that the NSF summary data include a broad definition of Science that includes the Social Sciences, such as Political Science and Psychology.

The SESTAT Data Base (NSF's Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System) is located at https://sestat.nsf.gov/sestat/sestat.html and allows you to query the data. To learn more about the SESTAT Data Base please read: SESTAT: A Tool for Studying Scientists and Engineers in the United States at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf99337/.

There are many published research articles about the engineering education of women. A good source for this research is ERIC, the world's largest source of education information. The ERIC website is located at http://www.eduref.org. It has over 1,000 abstracts of documents and journal articles referencing women and engineering education research and practice from 1966 through 2001.

The American Association of Engineering Societies: Engineering Workforce Commission conducts several engineering surveys and has several publications. Publications can be purchased via their website: http://www.aaes.org/.

Employed Engineers by Sex
Year Male Female % Female
1983 1,480,824 91,176 5.8%
1994 1,711,122 154,878 8.3%
1995 1,771,544 162,456 8.4%
1996 1,793,400 166,600 8.5%
1997 1,840,544 195,456 9.6%
1998 1,824,228 227,772 11.1%
1999 1,860,414 220,586 10.6%
2000 1,886,000 207,000 9.9%
2002 1,809,000 219,000 10.8%
2004 1,634,000 186,000 10.2%
Source: US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, Volumes 1995 through 2000; Table: Employed Civilians, by Occupation, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, monthly, January issues.) Source (for years 2000-2004): Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering; Table H-2 and H-3, National Science Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, 1984-2004.

 

Disciplines of Employed Engineers by Sex 2000
Discipline Male Female % Female
Aero 100,465 10,015 9.1%
ChemE 55,715 9,359 14.4%
Civil 245,890 27,755 10.1%
EE 283,175 26,940 8.7%
Environ 26,914 7,675 22.2%
HW 55,600 10,848 16.3%
IE 159,440 31,830 16.6%
Marine 10,304 553 5.1%
Materials 34,085 4,650 12.0%
ME 258,920 18,144 6.5%
Mgr 148,335 10,524 6.6%
Misc 292,560 33,934 10.4%
Nuc 7,808 718 8.4%
Petro 21,115 1,416 6.3%
Programmer 480,870 182,575 27.5%
SW 541,895 177,275 24.6%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2000; Table: Employed Civilians, by Occupation, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin. (Source:U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, monthly, January issues.)

 

Engineering Disciplines % Total
Discipline Male Female Total
Aero 3.7% 1.8% 3.4%
ChemE 2.0% 1.7% 2.0%
Civil 9.0% 5.0% 8.3%
EE 10.4% 4.9% 9.5%
Environ 1.0% 1.4% 1.1%
HW 2.0% 2.0% 2.0%
IE 5.9% 5.7% 5.8%
Marine .4% .1% .3%
Materials 1.3% .8% 1.2%
ME 9.5% 3.3% 8.5%
Mgr 5.4% 1.9% 4.8%
Misc 10.7% 6.1% 10.0%
Nuc .3% .1% .3%
Petro .8% .3% .7%
Programmer 17.7% 32.9% 20.2%
SW 19.9% 32.0% 21.9%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2000; Table: Employed Civilians, by Occupation, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin.(Source:U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, monthly, January issues.)

 

2003 Median Annual Salaries of Engineers by Years Since Degree - All Degree Levels
Years Since Degree Male Female
Less than 5 60,000 54,700
5 to 9 70,000 67,000
10 - 14 77,000 77,000
15 - 19 80,000 72,000
20 - 24 85,000 76,000
25 - 29 84,000 75,000
30-34 85,000 24,300
35 and greater 85,000 59,000
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2006 Volume 2; Appendix Table 3-11. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT), preliminary estimates (2003)
Education

Education Statistics on Women in Engineering in the USA

This data is compiled by the Society of Women Engineers from data provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Science Board (NSB), the United States Census Bureau, the American Association for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES).

Undergraduate Enrollment in Engineering by Sex - Graph | Table

Earned Bachelor's Degrees in Engineering by Sex - Graph | Table

Graduate Enrollment in Engineering by Sex - Graph | Table

Earned Master's Degrees in Engineering by Sex - Graph | Table

Earned Doctoral Degrees in Engineering by Sex - Graph | Table

References:

  • The National Science Board's Science and Engineering Indicators 2014 offers a board base of quantitative infomraoin on the U.S. and international science and engineering enterprise. A digest and data download is available. Data can be mined by state.
  • The National Science Foundation's Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT) is an integrated data system that is a source of longitudinal information on the education and employment of the college-educated U.S. science and engineering workforce. SESTAT data is available for download.
  • National Science Foundation's Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2013. The biennial report highlights key statistics in six themes: enrollment, field of degree, employment status, occupation, academic employment and people with disabilities. The data set is available for download and updated as new data are available.
  • The United States Census Bureau released a report in 2013 on women's employment in STEM occupations: Disparities in STEM Employment by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin.
  • The American Society fo Engineering Education's Engineering by the Numbers compiles enrollment and degree data by gender, race, and ethnicity.
  • The American Association of Engineering Societies: Engineering Workforce Commission publishes the results of surveys on engineering and techhnology enrollments, engeinering and technology degrees, engineers salareis in industry and engineers' salaries in education. Publications can be purchased at the AAES website.

 

Undergraduate Enrollment in Engineering by Sex
Year Male Female % Female
1979 321,868 44,431 12.1%
1981 361,133 59,269 14.1%
1983 372,374 68,831 15.6%
1984 362,800 66,699 15.5%
1985 354,612 66,252 15.7%
1986 344,999 62,658 15.4%
1987 331,917 60,281 15.4%
1988 325,024 60,388 15.7%
1989 318,067 60,210 15.9%
1990 319,506 60,781 16.0%
1991 316,719 63,258 16.6%
1992 316,460 66,065 17.3%
1993 309,412 66,532 17.7%
1994 300,412 66,065 18.1%
1995 296,029 67,286 18.5%
1996 288,559 67,618 19.0%
1997 294,593 70,765 19.4%
1998 294,598 72,393 19.7%
1999 290,019 71,376 19.8%
2000 314,776 76,027 19.5%
2001 331,089 78,468 19.2%
2002 343,226 77,952 18.5%
2003 345,857 75,934 18.0%
2004 345,248 74,139 17.7%
2005 338,747 70,579 17.2%
2006 335,620 69,869 17.2%
2007 357,652 74,258 17.2%
2008 365,281 77,671 17.5%
2009 384,151 83,988 17.9%
Source: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering 2013, Table 2-9. National Science Foundation and previous version of the publication.

 

Earned Bachelors Degrees in Engineering by Sex
Year Male Female % Female
1966 35,680 146 0.4%
1971 44,887 361 0.8%
1976 39,473 1,317 3.2%
1981 56,654 7,063 11.1%
1986 65,682 11,138 14.5%
1991 53,970 10,016 15.7%
1992 53,681 9,972 15.7%
1993 54,548 10,453 16.1%
1994 54,146 10,800 16.6%
1995 53,446 11,303 17.5%
1996 53,530 11,737 18.0%
1997 52,931 12,160 18.7%
1998 51,466 11,796 18.6%
1999 50,140 12,360 19.8%
2000 50,495 13,140 20.6%
2001 52,000 13,195 20.2%
2002 54,546 14,102 20.5%
2003 59,917 15,114 20.1%
2004 60,721 15,282 20.1%

2005

61,135 14,868 19.6%
2006 61,449 14,654

19.3%

2007 61,722 14,101 18.6%
2008 63,242 13,865 18.0%
2009 61,888 13,432 17.8%
2010 65,050 14,478 18.2%

Sources: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Table 2-9. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics and
Special tabulations of U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completions Survey, 1996-2005

 

Graduate Enrollment in Engineering by Sex
Year Male Female % Female
1977 64,985 3,700 5.4%
1979 65,852 5,876 8.2%
1981 71,809 7,746 9.7%
1983 81,312 9,807 10.8%
1985 94,911 11,080 10.5%
1987 90,990 12,963 12.5%
1988 89,705 13,124 12.8%
1989 90,443 13,600 13.1%
1990 92,953 14,672 13.6%
1991
97,861
15,715 13.8%
1992 100,802 17,233 14.6%
1993 99,189 17,692 15.1%
1994 95,006 18,054 16.0%
1995 89,377 18,152 16.9%
1996 84,971 18,252 17.7%
1997 82,293 18,715 18.5%
1998 81,050 18,988 19.0%
1999 81,804 19,887 19.6%
2000 83,366 20,746 19.9%
2001 87,236 22,257 20.3%
2002 94,701 24,967 20.9%
2003 99,790 27,587 21.7%
2004 96,294 27,272 22.1%
2005 93,595 26,878 22.3%
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2000, Volume 2; Appendix Table 4-21; National Science Board, National Science Foundation (Source: National Science Foundation, Science Resources Studies Division, Graduate Students and Post doctorates in Science and Engineering, Fall 1997, NSF 99-325, Project Officer, Joan Burrelli (Arlington, VA:1999); and previous years of this publication). Source (for years 1998-2005): Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Tables D-2 and D-3. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resource Statistics, Survey of Graduate Students and Post Doctorates in Science and Engineering, 1998-2005

 

Earned Masters Degrees in Engineering by Sex
Year Male Female % Female
1975 14,795 372 2.5%
1977 15,314 698 4.4%
1979 14,342 937 6.1%
1981 15,122 1,329 8.1%
1983 17,131 1,755 9.3%
1984 18,045 2,100 10.4%
1985 18,728 2,244 10.7%
1986 18,696 2,400 11.4%
1987 19,300 2,770 12.6%
1988 19,918 2,808 12.4%
1989 20,661 3,082 13.0%
1990 20,726 3,269 13.6%
1991 20,656 3,357 14.0%
1992 21,349 3,699 14.8%
1993 23,570 4,094 14.8%
1994 24,294 4,423 15.4%
1995 23,998 4,632 16.2%
1996 23,009 4,752 17.1%
1997 21,179 4,695 18.1%
1998 20,975 5,163 19.8%
1999 n/a n/a n/a
2000 20,396 5,340 20.4%
2001 20,895 5,628 21.2%
2002 20,692 5,574 21.2%
2003 23,520 6,184 20.8%
2004 26,737 7,135 21.1%
2005 26,492 7,607 22.3%
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2000, Volume 2; Appendix Table 4-33. National Science Board, National Science Foundation (Source: Engineering Workforce Commission, Engineering and Technology Enrollments, Fall 1998 (Washington, DC: American Association of Engineering Societies, 1999)). Source (for years 2000-2005): Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Tables E-2 and E-6. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, special tabulations of U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completions Survey, 1996-2005

 

Earned Doctoral Degrees in Engineering by Sex
Year Male Female % Female
1975 2,959 52 1.7%
1977 2,574 74 2.8%
1979 2,432 62 2.5%
1981 2,429 99 3.9%
1983 2,657 124 4.4%
1984 2,762 151 5.2%
1985 2,968 198 6.3%
1986 3,151 225 6.7%
1987 3,470 242 6.5%
1988 3,901 286 6.8%
1989 4,168 375 8.3%
1990 4,479 415 8.5%
1991 4,748 467 9.0%
1992 4,932 506 9.3%
1993 5,176 522 9.2%
1994 5,187 635 10.9%
1995 5,313 694 11.6%
1996 5,529 776 12.3%
1997 5,305 747 12.3%
1998 5,115 812 13.7%
1999 4,499 829 15.6%
2000 4,463 867 16.3%
2001 4,568 930 16.9%
2002 4,172 891 17.6%
2003 4,368 911 17.3%
2004 4,754 1,021 17.7%
2005 5,215 1,174 18.4%
Source: Science and Engineering Indicators 2000, Volume 2; Appendix Table 4-33. National Science Board, National Science Foundation (Source: Engineering Workforce Commission, Engineering and Technology Enrollments, Fall 1998 (Washington, DC: American Association of Engineering Societies, 1999)). Source (for years 2001-2005): Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, Table F-3. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates, 1998-2005
Literature Review

Compendium of Annual Literature Reviews

Literature ReviewRecognizing the long-standing and ongoing need to compile research on women in engineering, more than a decade ago SWE Magazine began producing an annual review of social science and related literature. Contributing both a bibliography and authoritative analysis to the body of knowledge concerning women in engineering, and more generally, the STEM professions, these reviews offer a single source from which to view the most significant findings and insight into research trends.

Consulting peer-reviewed articles, dissertations, reports, and conferences, the authors examine academic databases, journals, and books, as well as engineering/scientific association magazines, and when relevant, mainstream media.

The editorial team remains committed to producing this essential information, which is offered as SWE’s gift to the profession and to women.

This collection includes all of SWE Magazine's annual reviews to date, and was initially funded by the Clare Boothe Luce Program of the Henry Luce Foundation, in honor of the Society of Women Engineers’ 60th anniversary in 2010.

With user-friendly search features that enable easy access to information, viewers may access reviews from each year, as well as suggestions on how to extract the most value from the reviews.

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