Section 6. Women and Minorities

Women
Minorities

Women

Levels and Trends

The number of women scientists and engineers in the Federal Government increased by 27.6 percent between 1989 and 1993, from 29,328 to 37,431 (table 10). By contrast, men scientists and engineers in the Federal Government grew by 2.0 percent over the same period. The growth of women was 18.6 percent during 1989-91 and 7.6 percent during 1991-93. The growth trend for men scientists remained at a low 2.3 percent in 1989-91 . A slight decrease occurred during 1991-93 .

Table 10

Employment growth for women outpaced that for men across all major occupational groups between 1989 and 1993. The highest empoyment growth for women in the sciences was posted for the life sciences (42 percent); the lowest level was among physical scientists (19 percent). Corresponding growth levels for men ranged from 9.6 percent for life sciences to 0.7 percent for physical scientists. Employment growth increases for women were highest in the engineering occupations at 17.6 percent. The highest growth was posted for electrical, electronics, and computer engineers (23.5 percent), and the lowest growth was for industrial engineers (-18.7 percent). Corresponding levels for men ranged from 2.4 percent to -21.7 percent, respectively.

Despite more rapid employment growth than men, women in 1993 accounted for 27.4 percent of all Federal scientists and only 10.1 percent of all Federal engineers. These ratios were higher than the 1989 ratios (23.6 percent for scientists and 8.6 percent for engineers).

Primary Work Activity

Men and women scientists and engineers vary in their pattern of primary work activities. The largest proportion of women are employed in research, whereas the largest proportion of men are engaged in development work. Other primary work activities for women in order of importance include development; data collection, processing, and analysis; natural resource operations; clinical practice, counseling, and ancillary medical services; test and evaluation; and design. Other primary work activities for men in order of importance include research; design; data collection, processing, and analysis; natural resource operations; installation, operations, and maintenance; and test and evaluation.

The fastest growing work activities for women include management; natural resource operations; and clinical practice, counseling, and ancillary medical services. The fastest growing work activities for men include teaching and training; clinical practice, counseling, and ancillary medical services; and regulatory enforcement or licensing.

Minorities

Level and Trends

The number of Federal scientists and engineers who were members of ethnic/racial minority groups rose 18.3 percent between 1989 and 1993, from 26,052 to 30,810 (table 11). In 1993 members of minority/ethnic groups represented 15.6 percent of the Federal S&E labor force, up from 14 percent in 1989. Most of this increase is attributable to the increased number of Asian scientists and engineers, which rose from 9,866 to 11,930. Black scientists and engineers in the Federal Government increased by 15.1 percent over the same period. Hispanic scientists and engineers grew 19.9 percent during 1989-93, and Native Americans increased by 34.4 percent.

Table 11

Employment growth for minorities varied by occupational group. The growth of Asians and Native Americans outpaced that of other minority/ethnic groups in most occupational groups between 1989 and 1993. The highest employment growth for Native Americans was posted among aerospace engineers (82.4 percent) and social scientists (62.4 percent). The highest growth for Asians was posted for computer and mathematical scientists (53.1 percent) and for Hispanics was posted for social scientists (34.9 percent).

Despite more rapid growth levels for Native Americans and Asians, in 1993 they accounted for only 0.7 percent and 4.1 percent of all Federal scientists and 0.5 percent and 8.1 percent of all Federal engineers, respectively.

Primary Work Activity

Minorities employed as Federal scientists and engineers have different primary work activities. The largest proportion of Asians are employed in work activities such as development, research, and design, whereas the largest proportion of blacks are engaged in development; data collection, processing, and analysis; and research. Hispanics are primarily engaged in development, test and evaluation, and design. Almost one-quarter of the Native Americans employed as scientists and engineers in the Federal Government are engaged in natural resource operations work.

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