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International Comparisons of Women's Participation in Higher Education in Science and Engineering

Relatively few people, men or women, choose science or engineering fields of study at the university level. In the United States, the percentage of all bachelor's degrees awarded in science and engineering has slowly declined since the mid-1960's from a stable 35 percent down to 31 percent in 1991. Yet women and minorities are entering this select group in the United States and throughout the world. Statistics assembled from country sources and adjusted to conform to comparable degree levels and field descriptions permit comparisons of levels of participation among selected countries (Johnson 1994).
In North America, representation of women among persons earning bachelor's degrees leads that of many European and Asian countries. (See figure 5-14.) However, when science and engineering degrees are subdivided into broad fields, differences become more evident. (See figure 5-15 and appendix tables 5-51

Figure 5-14 Figure 5-15

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