NOTE: The ordinate is a logarithmic scale.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966–89 (A Source Book) (NSF 91–314), Washington, DC: NSF, 1991.

Figure I-1. Number of science and engineering (S&E) degrees awarded to women, by degree level, 1966–1989.

  • (2)  

    the specific S&E disciplines in which women tend to earn degrees being less important, on average, for industrial employment; and

  • (3)  

    the lower likelihood for women in a given field to choose industrial employment.

In large part, the small number of women scientists and engineers employed in industry reflects the small total number of women scientists and engineers in the employed work force. In 1986 only 15 percent (or roughly 700,000) of the employed S&E labor force was female.4 Thus, a large part


NSF, op. cit. Within that 15 percent, 10 percent of employed women scientists and engineers are minority women (see George Campbell Jr, and R. A. Ellis, Minorities in Engineering (Manpower Bulletin 110), Washington, DC: American Association of Engineering Societies Inc., 1991).

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