Persons with disabilities
About one-third of employed people identified as scientists and engineers
in the SESTAT surveys work in an S&E occupation. (See appendix table 6-1
and figure 6-1
.) Many of those who are not employed in science and engineering
occupations are employed in occupations within the S&E enterprise, such
as management, health-related occupations, and sales and marketing. Throughout
the remainder of this chapter, scientists and engineers are defined in terms
of occupation, not degree field, unless otherwise noted.
As with degree fields (see chapters 3 and 5),
women and men differ in S&E
occupation, with women constituting higher percentages of some S&E occupations
than of others. For example, in 1999 more than half of all psychologists (64
percent) and sociologists/anthropologists (52 percent) were women, compared
with about 10 percent of physicists/astronomers and engineers. (See appendix
table 6-7.) Women also constitute higher percentages of some engineering
occupations than others; for example, 16 percent of chemical engineers in 1999
compared with about 6 percent of electrical and mechanical engineers.
Asians, blacks, and American Indians account for larger percentages of some
S&E occupations than of others. (See appendix
table 6-8.) In 1999, Asians
made up a larger percentage of biological scientists (accounting for 15 percent
of total), electrical engineers (15 percent), computer scientists (14 percent),
and chemists (13 percent) than of other occupations (e.g., they were only 4
percent of the social scientists, including psychologists). Blacks accounted
for a higher percentage of mathematical scientists (6 percent) and social scientists
(5 percent) than of other occupations; for example, they comprised only 2 percent
of the biological scientists and 1 percent of earth scientists/geologists/oceanographers.
Hispanics were more proportionally distributed among occupations, accounting
for roughly 2 to 4 percent in most S&E occupations.
The occupational distributions of minority women among S&E occupations
generally resemble that of white women. Within each racial/ethnic group, higher
percentages of female scientists and engineers than of male are biological
scientists and psychologists, and lower percentages are engineers. About 40
to 50 percent of male scientists and engineers in each racial/ethnic group
were engineers in 1999, compared with less than 20 percent of their female
counterparts. Asian women differ from women in other racial/ethnic groups in
that a relatively small proportion (2 percent in 1999) were psychologists,
compared to between 11 and 17 percent of women in other racial/ethnic groups.
(See appendix table 6-2.)
Persons with disabilities
Scientists and engineers with and without disabilities do not differ greatly
by S&E occupation: 10 percent of the members of both groups in S&E
occupations were life scientists, 8 percent of both were physical scientists,
10 percent of both were social scientists, and 39 percent of both were engineers
in 1999. (See appendix table 6-9.) Similar
proportions of scientists and engineers with and without disabilities were
computer scientists (28 versus 30 percent).