Mathematics and Education

A slow blog

“Underrepresentation of Women in Math-intensive Fields”?

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Some characterize the situation for women in STEM as “underrepresentation of women in mathematically-intensive fields.” In the case of baccalaureates at least, the situation might be more accurately described in terms of salaries—unless you believe that engineering and computer science are more “mathematically-intensive” than mathematics.

Sources: Percent male from S&E Indicators Table 02-18, 2009 graduates. Salaries from Table 3, http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf12328/pdf/tab03.pdf

This scatterplot shows median salaries on the horizontal axis and percent male on the vertical axis, by field, for recent baccalaureates in STEM. Ordered by salary, the fields are:

Engineering (82% male, $58,000)

Computer science (82% male, $54,000)

Mathematics & statistics (57% male, $44,000)

Physics, astronomy, & chemistry (58% male, $40,000)

Biological, agricultural, & environmental sciences (43% male, $34,000)

Psychology (23% male, $32,000)

Update: A discussion of the notion of “mathematically intensive” with respect to PhDs is here.

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Written by CK

November 10, 2012 at 11:49 am

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