Engineering is no longer an industry run predominantly by men. Women are confidently conquering STEM fields and this promises only pluses for the industry!
Apart from the significant achievements made toward gender equality in the last century, several spheres still badly lack women. In 2021, the engineering business belongs to one of those industries. That is what the US claims. You may ask why we mention the US here. As far as the US is the country for which these inequities matter most, be ready that, in the article, we will frequently make reference to their progress on this issue.
According to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, regardless of efforts being made to grow the percentage of women engaged in STEM fields, only 17 percent of all specialists working in engineering are females. This figure is fundamentally lower than the number of females who constitute a part of the whole labor force in the US.
However, although engineering is still ill-proportionate due to the prevalence of male specialists, the imbalance does not reflect the situation in the industry. Though females are less than a quarter of engineers, the number has been continuously increasing over the last decades, introducing a good number of talented women to the engineering staff. According to Glassdoor, during 2021, small businesses and startups hired 13% more female engineers for projects compared to 4% in 2020 from reputable B2B marketplaces like Engre.co.
As more and more women decide to acquire degrees to enter the industry, much can be done to encourage this tendency.
Statistics Data for Female Engineers
Over the past few years, a growing number of females has entered the fields of STEM. Though the number of females in the engineering workforce goes on making gains, we still have to cover a long way for powerful representation. According to the report delivered by the U.S. Census Bureau, women are vastly underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and math workforce, even though making up 46 percent of the U.S.
In 2021, there are nearly 13.2 million female employees in STEM roles as informed by the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2019, women made up 54% of all workers in the US but only 12% of STEM employees, according to the Census report. By 2021, women made up 56% of all the workforce and the STEM proportion had grown to 32%. By contrast, men made up 44% of all U.S. workers but 68% of all engineering employees.
If you go into the subject matter, females achieved great results in social sciences, i.e. from 34% in 2010 to 71% in 2021. Women in 2021 constitute almost half of employees in all math (48%) and physical/life science (46%) occupations. But females haven't demonstrated great achievements in engineering and computer occupations, which composed the biggest share (83%) of the engineering workforce.
As reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2021, women make up only around one-fourth of computer employees and 17% of those in engineering activities.
The portion of engineering degrees for Afro-American and Asian women in the US is even smaller, according to a global nonprofit organization called Catalyst.
In 2021, such women received a tiny percentage (17.9%) of bachelor’s degrees in all STEM fields. The organization calculated this info based on the report revealed by the National Center for Education Statistics. The figures are as follows:
· Afro-American - 7.2%;
· Latinas - 6.9%;
· Asian women - 2.3%;
· American Indian women - 1.5%.
How About Pay for Women?
According to the research conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2021, females that work full-time in engineering roles earn 39.1 percent more than their non-engineering colleagues. However, the gender salary gap preserves within STEM positions.
From the research, among the 70 engineering jobs, women are paid higher than men in only one engineering role, i.e. computer network architects. However, females constitute only 6% of those in this sphere.
Reasons for a Gender Discrepancy
According to a global investigation performed by Catalyst, the gender gap starts in education cultivated by expectations regarding women’s work as well as gender stereotypes.
Those small number of females that start careers in engineering face workplaces where men predominate with a high percentage of discrimination involving their achievements frequently being ignored, isolation because of no access to females peers, mentors, and role models, and they earn less than their men-colleagues.
Additionally, Catalyst states that women often leave engineering careers at significantly higher rates than males, especially among working parents.
How to Grow Women Representation
It is essential to accentuate and talk about the contributions and achievements of females to the engineering industry. Starting from schools and colleges, teachers should add info about female scientists and mathematicians to educational materials and assign project works that cast a light on female’s progress in these subjects to modify the vision of who belongs in the engineering industry.
Additionally, there is a strong requirement for more powerful mentorship in the engineering industry. Even in 2021, numerous researches demonstrate females in STEM frequently feel isolated. So, education and business should seek to deliver mentoring practices for the female engineering workforce to establish a partnership with other successful female engineers in the industry. Acknowledging and empowering females is vital in fostering young ladies to enter the engineering field.
How About the Situation in Other Countries?
There is another opinion generated by the analytics from the UK in 2021 to prove that there is a growing presence of women in engineering.
According to EngineeringUK, approximately 23.1 percent of the entire workforce engaged in engineering is women, which brightly demonstrates a growth from 16 percent in 2019.
The above-mentioned info is extracted from the Labor Force Survey Q3 2020. This report demonstrates that the share of females occupying engineering positions has grown over time outpacing the rate of increase observed in other industries.
EngineeringUK is planning to come up with more detailed data in their publication in fall 2021.
The current report unveils that the amount of females obtaining engineering roles has risen from 834,107 in 2018 to 909,065 in 2020. This represents a 26.6 percent growth in females in STEM occupations compared to a 7.2 percent rise in the number of females in the total workforce. In general, 24.2 percent of employees working as engineers in 2020 are females.
It is inspiring to observe approximately 260,000 more females engaged as engineers during the last 3 years. It is inspiring to observe approximately 260,000 more females engaged as engineers during the last 3 years. Still, the fact that in the UK, females constitute only 24.2 percent in the STEM field is a source of great concern.
Women make up 50 percent of the population but businesses implement a truly tiny proportion of their expertise. So, all the industries, particularly the engineering sector should implement more powerful steps to stimulate change!
Engineering is an entertaining career of a fundamental social value. Engineering businesses should ensure that those career opportunities are more available to the next generation of females to build the creative and diverse workforce required for more and more innovative engineering advancements to happen.
WRITTEN BYSerena K. Johnson