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Women in STEM: A gender gap to innovation (Beede et al. 2011)

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Beede, D., Julian, T., Langdon, D., McKittrick, G., Khan, B., & Doms, M. (2011). Women in STEM: A gender gap to innovation. Washington, DC: Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.


    • This issue brief highlighted the 2009 gender gap in STEM degrees, jobs, and earnings in the United States.
    • The authors used data from the 2009 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to examine how educational attainment, wages, and participation in STEM occupations differed by gender. Regression analyses that controlled for factors such as age, educational attainment, and region, were used to compare differences in STEM earnings and wage gaps.
    • The authors found that women continued to be underrepresented in STEM degrees and jobs, but there were reasons to encourage women to pursue STEM: the gap in STEM jobs between women and men decreased as educational attainment increased; there was a 7 percent smaller gender gap in hourly earnings for STEM jobs over non-STEM jobs (14 percent smaller in engineering jobs); women held a disproportionally small number of STEM degrees compared with men; and 14 percent fewer women than men with STEM undergraduate degrees ended up in STEM jobs.

Reviewed by CLEAR

May 2016