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CAREERS IN GOVERNMENT


New Commerce Department Report on Women in STEM Jobs


Women still significantly underrepresented in STEM fields, impacting U.S. competitiveness


Economics and Statistics Administra- tion (ESA) today issued the second in a series of reports on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs and higher education. As expected, the report, Women in


T


STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation, finds there are fewer women than men in STEM jobs and attaining degrees in STEM fields. But interestingly, that’s true despite the fact that the wage premium for women in STEM jobs is higher than that for men and that there’s greater income parity be- tween genders in STEM fields than there is in the employment market as a whole. While women make up 48 percent of


he U.S. Commerce Department’s


the U.S. workforce, only 24 percent hold STEM jobs. Over the past decade, this un- derrepresentation


constant, even as women’s share of the college-educated


has remained workforce


has in-


creased. Women with STEM jobs, however,


earned 33 percent more than women in non-STEM jobs in 2009, exceeding the 25 percent earnings premium for men in STEM. Women in STEM also experience a smaller gender wage gap than their counterparts in other fields. “We haven’t done as well as we could


to encourage young people to go into STEM jobs—particularly women—which inhibits American innovation,” said Act-


fairly


ing Secretary of Commerce Dr. Rebecca Blank. “Closing the gender gap in STEM degrees will boost the number of Ameri- cans in STEM jobs, and that will enhance U.S. innovation and sharpen our global competitiveness.” Women who do get STEM degrees are


more likely to enter jobs in fields like edu- cation or healthcare, the report finds. And while more women choose to major in math than men—nearly 10 percent versus 6 percent–most men with STEM majors select engineering degrees. Engineers are the most male-dominated STEM occupa- tional group but also the one with the smallest gender wage gap.


“The data in this new report speak for


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