A new U.S. Census report is showing that women professionals have more than tripled their percentage in the engineering industry and related fields in the last four decades.
According to the report, authored by two Census Bureau statisticians, only 8% of the nation’s science, technology, engineering and math workforce, otherwise known as STEM, were comprised of women workers in 1970.
But that number has climbed to 27% as of 2019, the last year for which statistics on the subject are available.
While STEM jobs account for only 5% of all occupations in the U.S., continues the report, “they play an important role in American’s innovative capacity and global competitiveness. They are our engineers, medical scientists, sociologists and informational security analysts.”
Altogether, according to the most recent estimates, there are now just under 11 million people in the country working in STEM occupations.
The engineering component in STEM work is seeing women increasingly working as both architectural and engineering managers.
But while the overall percentage of women in STEM job has seen a steady increase in recent decades, the numbers in the strictly engineering field since the 1970s have only risen from 3% to 15%.
Much larger increases for women employees were seen in the fields of math, where their numbers have climbed to 47%, and in the physical sciences, with 45% of all workers now made up of women.
But while earning more than their non-STEM counterparts, women in STEM jobs still tend to make less than men.
The Census report indicates that as civil engineers, women on average make around $75,000, while men in the same field are closing in on $100,000.
Similarly, in the architectural and engineering management field, women come in at about $140,000, with men earning just under $150,000.
By Garry Boulard
Get stories like these right to your inbox.