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INTRODUCTION

The National Research Council (NRC) has a long and distinguished history of providing the federal government with information that is needed to develop effective policies for recruiting and retaining individuals in scientific and engineering (S&E) careers. In recent years, the Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel (OSEP) has served as the focal point in NRC for providing information and advice on the health of the human resource base. Issues affecting women in science and engineering have been variously addressed over the last two decades (see Technical Appendix, which refers to earlier NRC efforts in this area). While some progress has been made in facilitating the entry of talented women into careers in these areas, much remains to be done in both recruiting and retaining women in science and engineering. It is no surprise, therefore, that to strengthen and clarify policies affecting the preparation and recruitment of women for careers in this area, the Governing Board of NRC concluded in 1988 that an ongoing effort was needed and requested OSEP to establish a committee that would have as its long-range goal the increased participation of women in the scientific and engineering work force.

The Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) was established in 1990 and held its first meeting in March 1991. As a standing committee of NRC, CWSE includes in its growing portfolio four · sets of activities:

  1. collecting and disseminating current data about the participation of



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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s 1 INTRODUCTION The National Research Council (NRC) has a long and distinguished history of providing the federal government with information that is needed to develop effective policies for recruiting and retaining individuals in scientific and engineering (S&E) careers. In recent years, the Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel (OSEP) has served as the focal point in NRC for providing information and advice on the health of the human resource base. Issues affecting women in science and engineering have been variously addressed over the last two decades (see Technical Appendix, which refers to earlier NRC efforts in this area). While some progress has been made in facilitating the entry of talented women into careers in these areas, much remains to be done in both recruiting and retaining women in science and engineering. It is no surprise, therefore, that to strengthen and clarify policies affecting the preparation and recruitment of women for careers in this area, the Governing Board of NRC concluded in 1988 that an ongoing effort was needed and requested OSEP to establish a committee that would have as its long-range goal the increased participation of women in the scientific and engineering work force. The Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) was established in 1990 and held its first meeting in March 1991. As a standing committee of NRC, CWSE includes in its growing portfolio four · sets of activities: collecting and disseminating current data about the participation of

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s women in science and engineering to broad constituencies in academe, government, industry, and professional societies; monitoring the progress of efforts to increase the participation of women in scientific and engineering careers; conducting symposia, workshops, and other meetings of experts to explore the policy environment, to stimulate and encourage initiatives in program development for women in science and engineering, and to evaluate their effectiveness on a regular basis; and proposing research and conducting special studies on issues particularly relevant to women scientists and engineers in order to develop reports that will document evidence and articulate NRC recommendations for action. Specifically, CWSE will focus on the postsecondary segments of the education/employment pipeline—undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and career segments—while keeping abreast of developments in precollege science education designed to recruit females into scientific and engineering careers. The challenge in the 1990s will be to identify new opportunities for assuring that women will take their place beside men in building a strong science and technology base in the United States. This report outlines the role that the Committee on Women in Science and Engineering expects to take in achieving that goal.

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s The Global Policy Environment Policies affecting the recruitment, education, and employment of women in science and engineering do not arise in a vacuum. Shifts in economic conditions, demographic patterns, and national research and development (R&D) goals stimulate the formulation of human resource policies and the selection of program goals (see, for example, Wildarsky, 1979; OSEP, 1991). The United States now faces a critical period in setting its technological and scientific priorities, and particular attention is being given to the expansion of the present pool of scientific and technical talent. It should come as no surprise that many policies affecting the role of women in science and engineering take as their starting point trends in the U.S. demography. Demographic Issues The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the human-resource needs for science and engineering will increase, by 36 percent between the years 1986 and 2000, because of high-technology industrial growth and the increasing use of high-technology goods and services (see Table 1). How will we meet these increased human-resource needs? Richard C. Atkinson, chancellor of the University of California-San Diego and former director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), is emphatic about the current situation: Persuading more students to pursue graduate education in science and engineering, maintaining the vitality of our universities, raising the level of technological literacy, and making more effective use of the results and

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s TABLE 1: Civilian Employment of Scientists, Engineers, and Technicians (SET), by Field, 1986 and 2000 Field Number Employed, 1986 Projected Percentage Increase in Employment, 2000 TOTAL, SET Fields 4,245,600 36 Total Scientists* 1,131,600 45 Computer Specialists 331,000 76 Life 140,000 21 Mathematical 48,000 29 Physical 180,000 13 Social 432,600 36 Total Engineers 1,371,000 32 Aeronautical/astronautical 53,000 11 Chemical 52,000 15 Civil 199,000 25 Electrical/electronics 401,000 48 Industrial 117,000 30 Mechanical 233,000 33 Other 316,000 24 Total Technicians 1,743,000 36 Computer Programmers 479,000 70 Draftsmen 348,000 2 Electrical/electronics 313,000 46 Other engineering 376,000 26 Physical, mathematical, and life sciences 227,000 15 * Includes 97,300 environmental scientists. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Outlook 2000 (Bulletin 2302), Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990.

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s insights of science in policy and decision making are not separate problems. Rather, they are related components of the fundamental question of the adequacy of our science-education system and its relevance to the country's needs (Atkinson, 1988). After reviewing those needs, Eileen Collins concluded that If present trends continue, there will be a shortage of trained engineers which cannot be filled by the natural increases in numbers of women and minority students obtaining degrees. Possible market adjustments include the injection of foreign talent, a policy decision to increase the numbers of women and minority students, and the recapture and retraining of those engineers no longer in the field (Collins, 1988). Figure 1 reveals that only about 5.2 percent of high school sophomores are likely to pursue studies in the natural sciences and engineering culminating in receipt of bachelor's degrees in those disciplines. of those receiving baccalaureates in 1984, only 4.7 percent will have earned Ph.D.s in science and engineering by 1992. When these percentages are applied to the cohort of U.S. high school students for the 1986-2000 period, it becomes dear that the number of young scientists and engineers passing through the education pipeline may not be adequate to meet the demand projected in Table 1. Planning must be undertaken now to provide the Nation with the trained personnel who will ensure the development of new technologies and new knowledge. Three demographic trends will further complicate the generic issue of providing a sufficient supply of U.S. scientists and engineers. First, the 18- to 24-year-old cohort that comprises our undergraduate population—traditionally, whites, both males and females—will continue to decline until

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s Source: Task Force on Women, Minorities, and the Handicapped in Science and Technology, Changing America: The New Face of Science and Engineering (Interim Report), Washington, D.C.: The Task Force, 1988. Figure 1. Science and engineering (S&E) pipeline, from high school through Ph.D. degree. 1995 (Figure 2). Second, the percentage of students majoring in most fields of science and engineering has been dropping for the past few years (Table 2). and third, projections show that the increases in the U.S. population will be greatest among ethnic groups that have not heretofore participated significantly in science and engineering. All three trends add to the widespread concern about the future supply of scientists and engineers to meet national needs.

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1990 (110th edition), Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990. Figure 2. U.S. population, aged 18-24, 1970-1988, and projected, 1990-2010 (in thousands). A predicted consequence is a shortfall of faculty recruits to meet the foreseeable replacement needs due to retirements. Some estimates show that 40 percent of tenured S&E faculty will retire by 1995 and that many new faculty hires will be needed (Figure 3) (Vetter, 1989). Coupled with a decrease in the number of U.S. citizens earning doctorates in science and engineering and gaining tenure——particularly in engineering, computer science, and mathematics——these data project a disturbing picture before the start of the twenty-first century (Thurgood and Weinman, 1990).

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s TABLE 2: Bachelor's Degrees in Science and Engineering as Percentage of All Baccalaureates Awarded, Selected Years, 1972-1989   Science and Engineering Disciplines           Year Comp/ Info Engng Health Life Math Phys Psych Social 1972 na 4.91 3.00 5.71 2.91 223 4.63 9.62 1974 na 4.28 5.29 6.71 2.61 2.09 5.14 9.16 1976 na 3.88 6.42 7.67 2.16 2.14 5.00 8.15 1978 .78 4.77 6.71 7.76 1.36 233 4.53 7.59 1980 1.20 5.88 6.84 7.11 1.22 235 4.22 7.18 1982 2.13 6.96 6.77 6.64 1.22 250 4.26 7.33 1984 3.30 7.86 6.65 5.79 1.36 2.44 4.14 7.07 1986 4.24 7.67 6.66 5.35 1.65 2.17 4.07 6.90 1987 4.00 9.39 6.38 3.84 1.66 2.01 4.32 9.70 1988 3.48 8.94 6.05 3.70 1.60 1.79 4.53 10.09 1989 3.01 8.38 5.81 3.55 1.50 1.69 4.77 10.58   SOURCE: Betty M. Vetter, Professional Women and Minorities (9th ed.), Washington, D.C.: Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, 1991, from U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, ''Degrees and Other Formal Awards Conferred.'' Another factor affecting science policy in this area arises from the increasing proportion of both foreign scientists and engineers in the U.S. work force and foreigners earning doctorates from U.S. institutions, which has grown steadily since 1975 (NSF, 1987; Dybas, 1990). The increase in non-U.S. citizens on engineering faculties of U.S. universities (Figure 4) has been especially rapid, but the number of foreign scientists and engineers in the U.S. industrial work force has also been growing steadily as increasing percentages of foreigners receive advanced S&E degrees in the United States (Table 3). Many within the scientific community feel that without

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s Source: U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Demographic Trends and the Scientific and Engineering Work Force——A Technical Memorandum, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985. Figure 3. High and low estimates of the number of new Ph.D. faculty hires in the sciences and engineering, every five years, 1980-2015.

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s Source: National Research Council's Survey of Doctorate Recipients. Figure 4. U.S. and Foreign Engineering Faculty, age 35 or less, 1973-1989.

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s TABLE 3: Ph.D.s Awarded by U.S. Universities to Non-U.S. Citizens, 1989 Field Total Ph.D.s in Field Percent Earned by Non-U.S. Citizens     Perm. Visas Temp. Visas Total All Fields 34,319 5.1 21.0 Physical Sciences 5,460 5.3 30.5 Physics/Astronomy 1,278 5.3 36.7 Chemistry 1,971 4.6 25.1 Earth, Atmos., and Marine 738 4.4 17.8 Mathematics 861 4.5 44.5 Computer Sciences 612 9.9 31.2 Engineering 4,536 8.7 46.5 Life Sciences* 6,343 4.4 19.3 Biological Sciences 4,106 4.6 15.5 Health Sciences 985 2.8 15.2 Agricultural Sciences 1,252 4.8 35.6 Social Sciences* 5,955 4.2 15.5 Political Sci/Int'l Relations 524 9.3 25.2 Economics 898 6.8 40.8 Humanities 3,558 6.4 10.5 Education 6,265 2.8 7.6 Professional/Other* 2,202 6.3 19.8 Business and Management 1,071 6.9 26.5 Note: Totals in each field include U.S citizens and recipients with unknown citizenship status. Percentages are based on the number of doctorates with known citizenship status. * Totals include other fields not shown. SOURCE: Delores H. Thurgood and Joanne M. Weinman, Summary Report 1989: Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1990. the large number of foreign graduate students, U.S. universities would be unable to educate the next generation of scientists and engineers to meet U.S. research and development needs. The 1990 Immigration Act, signed into law by President Bush in November 1990 to be effective in October 1991, permits 140,000 skilled workers to obtain permanent visas each year. These skilled workers include:

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s TABLE 4: Science and Engineering Degrees Granted to Women, by Degree Level, 1986 and 1989     Baccalaureates Master's Degrees Doctorates Science and Engineering Field Total No. of Women % of Total No. of Women % of Total No. of Women % of Total Total 1986 121,439 37.7 18,298 29.9 4,906 26.1 1989 133,395 39.2 21,298 31.6 5,482 26.1 Sciences, total 1986 110,123 45.2 15,970 39.9 4,681 36.4 1989 121,773 47.7 18,112 42.2 5,082 34.0 Physical 1986 6,698 28.1 1,352 23.3 605 16.4 1989 5,107 29.7 1,533 26.7 759 19.7 Mathematical 1986 7,036 46.1 1,011 35.0 121 16.6 1989 7,016 46.0 1,366 39.9 171 19.4 Computer & Info. Science 1986 14,431 36.9 2,037 28.7 49 12.3 1989 9,416 30.7 2,623 27.9 81 15.1 Life 1986 25,149 43.5 3,491 39.9 1,448 30.2 1989 18,109 50.2 2,449 49.6 1,298 36.7 Psychology 1986 27,422 68.2 5,417 63.9 1,564 50.9 1989 34,335 70.8 5,780 67.4 1,834 56.2 Social 1986 29,387 43.5 2,662 37.8 894 32.5 1989 47,790 44.4 4,361 40.2 939 32.6 Engineering and Engineering technologies 1986 11,316 14.5 2,328 11.0 225 6.7 1989 11,622 13.6 3,186 13.0 400 8.8   SOURCE: National Science Board, Science Indicators—1989 (NSB 89-1), Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989; and Delores H. Thurgood and Joanne M. Weinman, Summary Report 1989: Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1990.

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s than women of pursuing graduate study, but the difference between men and women is smaller than in many other fields: in 1985, 23.6 percent of the 93,000 recent male undergraduates enrolled in graduate school, as opposed to only 18.1 percent of the women (Hornig, 1987). Within this environment, current data indicate the need for a concerted effort to analyze the reasons underlying the decreasing participation of U.S. students in science and engineering and to take corrective action. The declining number of college-aged students during the coming decades does not necessarily imply that the United States will have a shortage of native-born scientists and engineers, if a strategy can be found to increase the probability that young people go into scientific and engineering careers. Such a strategy should include increasing the participation of groups who in the past have been underrepresented in the S&E work force. Women are a major human resource that has traditionally been underrepresented in most fields of science and engineering in the United States. Thus, U.S. women educated in the sciences and engineering represent a potential resource for addressing projected future needs for S&E personnel. Employment Issues Examination of the 1988 data reveals that, while women are increasingly represented in the total U.S. work force (45 percent) and in the total professional work force, including the scientific, business, and management areas (50 percent), they are greatly underrepresented in the scientific work force (30 percent) and the engineering work force (4 percent) (Figure 5) (NSF, 1990b). In some subfields women are grossly

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s Source: National Science Foundation, Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering (NSF 90-301), Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990. Figure 5. Percentage of women among employed scientists and engineers, by field, 1988. underrepresented, more so than in many foreign countries, as was revealed by a recent international study of the participation of women in physics (Table 5). Yet it is projected that by the year 2000, 85 percent of new entrants to the U.S. work force will be women and members of racial/

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s TABLE 5: Degrees to Women in Physics and Women as Physics Faculty (in percent)   Degrees to Recent Graduates   Country Bachelor's Doctorate Faculty Belgium 33 29 11 Brazil 24 31 18 Democratic German Republic 12 18 8 France 24 21 23 Hungary 50 27 47 India 25 26 10 Ireland 22 20 7 Italy 29 21 23 Japan 7 4 6 Korea 20 5 3 Netherlands 20 4 6 New Zealand 10 11 6 Philippines 28 60 31 Poland 14 17 17 South Africa 24 21 9 Spain 17 21 16 Turkey 38 17 23 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 34 25 30 United Kingdom 16 12 4 United States 15 9 3   SOURCE: W. J. Megaw, Gender Distribution in the World's Physics Departments , paper prepared for the meeting, Gender and Science and Technology 6, Melbourne, Australia, July 14-18, 1991.

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s Source; National Science Board, Science Indicators—1989 (NSB 89-1), Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989. Figure 6. Women doctorates in science and engineering, by field, 1976 and 1986. ethnic minority groups, groups not traditionally employed in the sciences and engineering (Department of Labor, 1990). Analysis of their current distribution by fields (Figure 6) and types of employers (Table 6) provides some perspective on the role of doctorate women in the S&E work force: Academe: Table 6 shows that most women Ph.D.s entered

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s TABLE 6: Employers of Doctorate Recipients in Science and Engineering, by Sex, 1989 Type of Employer Year Total Male Female       Number Percent Number Percent TOTAL 1989 476,340 393,843 100.0 82,497 100.0 Self-Employed 1989 31,801 23,216 5.9 8,585 10.4 Business & Industry 1989 111,375 101,097 25.7 10,278 12.5 Academe 1989 225,803 183,901 46.7 41,902 50.8 Two-Year College 1989 5,226 4,006 1.0 1,220 1.5 Medical School 1989 31,711 23,047 5.9 8,664 10.5 Four-Year College 1989 31,693 25,208 6.4 6,485 7.9 Other University 1989 153,154 129,280 32.8 23,874 28.9 Precollege 1989 4,019 2,360 0.6 1,659 2.0 Government* 1989 38,493 32,801 8.3 5,6921 6.9 Nonprofit Org. 1989 13,480 10,429 2.6 3,051 3.7 Other 1989 18,033 12,568 3.2 5,465 6.6 Not Employed 1989 36,495 29,164 7.4 7,331 8.9 No Report 1989 860 667 0.2 193 0.2 * Federal, state, and local. SOURCE: Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel, Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s academe (about 50 percent in 1989), primarily medical schools and four-year colleges, with correspondingly smaller numbers finding positions in other types of employment. Another 2 percent of women Ph.D.s entered precollege teaching, compared with less than 1 percent of men. Women comprise 27.6 percent of all faculties at U.S. universities (Vetter, 1991, Tables 5-12), but only 17.5 percent of all science and engineering faculty (Table 7). and while men Ph.D.s are more likely to hold full or associate professorships, women are much more likely to be instructors, lecturers, adjunct faculty, and ''other'' faculty. Industry: Overall, about 12 percent of women scientists and engineers are employed in industry, compared to about 26 percent of men scientists and engineers (Table 6). The National Research Council (1983) reported that 1981 data showed a doubling of the number of women scientists and engineers in industry since 1977, but that they remained seriously underrepresented compared to their availability and were underemployed and underpaid. Data from NSF reveal similar findings for the past decade.1 Government: In 1988 the U.S. work force included approximately 2.0 million scientists and 2.6 million engineers, of whom 88,106 scientists and 107,415 engineers were employed by the federal government, the largest single employer of scientists and engineers in the United States (Campbell and Dix, 1990). Overall, women and minorities find greater employment opportunities within the 1 The National Science Foundation (1988, p. viii) released the following information: "If those working involuntarily in either part-time or non-S/E jobs are considered as a proportion of total employment, about 6 percent of women, compared with 2 percent of men, are underemployed.... Women's salaries are lower than men's in essentially all S/E fields and at all levels of professional experience."

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s TABLE 7: Academic Ranks of all U.S. Doctorate Recipients in Science and Engineering, 1989       Male Female Academic Rank Year Total Number Percent Number Percent TOTAL 1989 221,784 181,541 81.9 40,243 18.1 Faculty, Total 1989 199,081 164,254 82.5 34,827 17.5 Professor 1989 89,821 82,354 91.7 7,467 8.3 Assoc. Professor 1989 50,314 40,724 80.9 9,590 19.1 Asst. Professor 1989 38,513 27,235 70.7 I 1,278 29.3 Instructor 1989 2,445 1,473 60.2 972 39.8 Lecturer 1989 2,395 1,430 59.7 965 40.3 Adjunct Faculty 1989 3,744 2,476 66.1 1,268 33.9 Other Faculty 1989 11,849 8,562 72.3 3,287 27.7 Postdoctoral Appt. 1989 11,892 8,491 71.4 3,401 28.6 Does Not Apply 1989 4,364 3,035 69.5 1,329 30.5 No Report 1989 6,447 5,761 89.4 686 10.6   SOURCE: Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel, Survey of Doctorate Recipients

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings and Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, in Public Employees: Facts at a Glance, Washington, D.C.: AFL-CIO Public Employee Department, 1990. Figure 7. Women, blacks, and Hispanics in the federal work force, 1988 (in percent). federal government than within other U.S. employment sectors (Figure 7). However, "in 1988 only about 14 percent of federal scientists and engineers were female, and about 7 percent were black or Hispanic" (Falk, 1990). Conclusion The policy environment for recruiting and retaining women in science and engineering can be characterized currently by attention to three types of issues: (1) demographic considerations, including the rising proportion of non-U.S. citizens in the U.S. work force; (2) education issues, with emphasis on the low rate of participation of women in the component fields of science and engineering; and (3) employment conditions in the U.S. work force. The decisions that we make about our

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Women in Science and Engineering: Increasing their Numbers in the 1990s S&E cadre today will have a significant effect on our ability to find solutions to future problems. Our ultimate success depends upon the degree to which we maximize use of all of the Nation's human resources. Based on this policy environment, the Committee concludes that there is great potential for increasing the number of women in science and engineering, especially in areas where they are most underrepresented and where the national need is greatest. CWSE has therefore formulated a plan of action on three topics: strengthening the S&E education infrastructure, examining the effectiveness of intervention programs in sustaining the flow of women into science and engineering, and exploring career patterns for women in S&E employment. Within these topics are four policy issues that the Committee believes warrant consideration: changing demographics, changing missions of relevant agencies in the federal government and industrial organizations and their subsequent impact on university-government-private partnerships, changing public attitudes toward science and scientists, and the entry and retention of women into mainstream science and engineering careers. The next three chapters of this report examine each of the three topics with these policy issues in mind.

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