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SOURCE: National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966–89 (A Source Book) (NSF 91-314), Washington, DC: NSF, 1991.
Figure I-2. Percentage of science and engineering (S&E) degrees awarded to women, by degree level, 1966 and 1989.
of the answer to the question "Why so few?" originates in the lower participation in the past of women in the S&E education pipeline and, subsequently, in careers.
This part of the answer to "Why so few?" can be expected to become less important in the future, however, since women have been increasing their representation in S&E education. Figure I-1 illustrates this trend. At the bachelor's and master's degree levels, the number increased by more than fourfold; at the doctorate level, the increase was more than sixfold from 1966 levels.
The net result of these dramatic increases has been that the percentage of female degree recipients as a share of all S&E degree recipients increased significantly (Figure I-2). In 1966 women constituted less than 24 percent of the S&E bachelor's degree recipients, less than 14 percent of the S&E master's degree recipients, and 8 percent of the S&E doctorate recipients. By 1989 the percentage of S&E degrees awarded to women had increased dramatically at all degree levels—to 40 percent, 31 percent, and