What Gender Gap? Women Are Now Majority of STEM Grads

Women now make up just over half of all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) graduate school enrollees in the U.S. and earned more than half of all science and engineering bachelor’s degrees between 2004 and 2014, according to analysis from the American Enterprise Institute.

Mark J. Perry, an AEI scholar and professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan-Flint, has been studying gender gaps in various aspects of society for years, and has a new report out using various data sets to show that women are not underrepresented in STEM — at least when it comes to education.

“In fact, according to several measures, women are actually slightly over-represented in STEM graduate programs and earn a majority of STEM college degrees,” Perry wrote. But, he cautions, a lot of the conclusions depend on how one defines STEM. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, he cites, says the “definition of STEM can vary, depending on the group using it.”

Perry took data from the Council of Graduate Schools and included its “Health and Medical Sciences” classification as a STEM field. Doing so found that 50.6% of grad students enrolled in STEM programs in 2017 were women, even though women were only the majority of enrollees in two classifications: “Biological and Agricultural Sciences” and “Health and Medical Sciences.” Still, far more women were enrolled in health sciences than either sex in any of the other fields.

Another chart compiled by Perry, based on data from the National Science Foundation, shows that women accounted for more than half of all science and engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded between 2004 and 2014. (Read more from “What Gender Gap? Women Are Now Majority of Stem Grads” HERE)

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