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Engineering By The Numbers

Engineering by the Numbers

The data contained herein is a companion to ASEE's Engineering and Engineering Technology by the Numbers and seeks to provide a quantitative picture of the representation of racial and gender groups in engineering as well as of the antecedents and barriers that are likely to contribute to underrepresentation of certain individuals. The statistics herein are updated frequently, so please check back regularly!.

Representation of Women in Engineering

In Engineering Education:
  • Coming in first with the best gender gap in engineering: 50% of Bachelor's Degrees, 46% of Master's Degrees, and 48.7% of PhDs are awarded to women in environmental engineering (Yoder, 2017).
  • In the middle of the pack, women in chemical and civil engineering account for 33% and 25% of Bachelor's Degrees respectively, 35% and 28% of Master's Degrees, and 31% and 29% of PhDs (Yoder, 2017).
  • Far behind other engineering disciplines, women in electrical and mechanical engineering account for 14% and 15% of Bachelor's Degrees respectively, 23% and 15% of Master's Degrees, and 17% and 16% of PhDs (Yoder, 2017).
  • Of all engineering degrees, mechanical (30,030 Bachelor's degrees) and electrical engineering (16,162 Bachelor's Degrees), including electrical and computer engineering, account for the largest number of engineering degrees granted to students in the United States (Yoder, 2017).

In the Engineering Workplace:

  • Only 10.7% of electrical engineers, 8.6% of mechanical engineers, and 7.1% of computer engineers are women (National Science Foundation, 2018).
  • 33% of environmental engineers are women (National Science Foundation, 2018).
  • 22.5% and 19.5% of chemical and civil engineers respectively are women (National Science Foundation, 2018).


In Engineering Education:
  • In a longitudinal study of 196 female undergraduate students at five different institutions, women felt less included in their engineering classes during the second year of the study compared to the first. This was true regardless if women began the study as freshman or as (fourth-year) seniors (Marra et al., 2009).
  • In a sample of 1,722 women majoring in STEM fields (including engineering) at 29 different institutions, belonging (to the institution as a whole) declined as women advanced in their programs. Women of color experienced significantly lower sense of belonging than other women. And, the strongest predictors of belonging were academic self-confidence, residence hall academic and social support, and positive campus racial climate (Johnson, 2012)
In the Engineering Workplace:
  • In a cross-sectional study of 2,252 individuals in STEM occupations (including engineering) recruited through the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), women reported significantly less feeling of inclusion than men. Black individuals expressed significantly lower feelings of inclusion than White, Hispanic, and Asian workers (Cech and Waidzunas, 2019).
For a recent review of belonging among women engineers in engineering education and in the engineering workplace, see Wilson and VanAntwerp (2021).