You probably already know that women and certain minorities are underrepresented in science and engineering in the U.S. But a recent report from the the National Science Foundation shows just how pronounced that gap is.
The report comes out every two years, and it tracks women, minorities, and people with disabilities in science and engineering. The latest report uses figures from 2010, the most recent year for which data was available. The highlights include trends that are both expected and unexpected:
Minority scientists and engineers are more likely to be unemployed. In 2010, unemployment rates were highest for Asian women and underrepresented minority men and women scientists, with each around 7 percent. (That was still quite a bit under the average national unemployment rate that year, which was 9.6 percent.) The unemployment rate for white men in science and engineering was 3.6 percent.
By the way, Asians aren't considered an underrepresented race in math and science. In 2010, 18 percent of U.S. scientists and engineers were Asian, while Asians represented only 4.7 percent of the U.S. population. The National Science Foundation counts black, Hispanic and American Indian people as underrepresented minorities in science.
Among the roughly 4 percent of white male engineers and scientists who say they're unemployed, 71 percent say they're unemployed because they're retired. That's much more than the next group: Unemployed, underrepresented minority male scientists, 52 percent of whom say they're unemployed because they're retired.
The reasons for unemployment vary between different races and sexes of scientists.
Women were four to six times more likely to be unemployed because of family responsibilities than men, and Asian men and underrepresented minority men and women were the most likely to say they're unemployed because of a layoff or because there aren't jobs available.
Current and future scientists
The majority of working scientists and engineers (51 percent) are white men, with the next-largest groups being white women (18 percent) and Asian men (13 percent). One promising detail: these figures probably won't stay that way forever. Women and underrepresented minorities are earning greater and greater shares of math and science degrees every year, it's just that the job market, which includes scientists who might have trained any time in the last 30 years, doesn't yet reflect that diversity.
There is still a significant gap in certain fields, though.
In the social sciences and biology, women earned half or more of the degrees granted at all levels. And they earned between 70 to 80 percent of the degrees in psychology. They still earned fewer than half of the degrees given in math and the physical sciences, however, and fewer than 30 percent of the degrees given in engineering and the computer sciences.
The numbers of underrepresented minorities earning bachelor's and master's degrees in math and science have increased slowly but steadily since 1991. The share of doctorates going to underrepresented minorities has leveled out and stayed below 8 percent since about 2004.
Historically black colleges
Historically black colleges and universities are an important early training ground for black PhDs. Thirty percent of black doctorates in math, science or engineering got their bachelor's at a historically black institution. A couple of the better-known places include Howard University in Washington, DC, and Morehouse College in Georgia, but there are more than 100 historically black colleges in the U.S..
The ivory tower
For full-time academic scientists of all stripes, median salaries are pretty similar. They start at about $50,000 for freshly minted doctorates and hit about $80,000 after more than a dozen years of experience.
Women have made big gains in academia. The share of female math and science full-time professors in 2010 is more than double the share in 1993. But the overall number is still small: Women make up only 22 percent of math and science full-time professors.
Underrepresented minorities have made smaller gains than women in ivory towers across the U.S. In 1993, 3.8 percent of full-time math and science professors were black or Hispanic. In 2010, 5.9 percent were.
Women and underrepresented minorities are less likely to receive federal grants to do research, too, a phenomenon the National Institutes of Health have begun to track.
This is very interesting (and disturbing) information. I wasn't expecting such detailed and specific results, but I guess when your target audience have all studied statistical significance, you can't round/speculate ;)
I would be very interested to see how American born minorities compare to those received some or all of their education prior to immigrating to the US. I have worked in various scientific and engineering environments. In all of them I found the office demographics to be far more diverse (both in variety and %) than the demographics of the city as a whole. I didn't count heads, or take a poll, but if memory serves me, many of my coworkers came to the states either on a work or education visa.
It is long past time people stopped whipping out this tedious crying towel every time somebody or some group of bodies doesn't get their way. Boring blather, Francie. Just learn to do interesting, non-cliched reports, okay?
Hello Mister or Missus Francis Diep!
I don't know if you actually read the comments on your articles (I don't blame you if you avoid the comment sections on the Internet), but I'm confused about something in this article:
Minorities, by definition, are lesser in number than the majority. Therefore it makes sense that the majority would exist in greater concentrations in all fields. There's simply more of the majority. I don't understand how one could come to the conclusion that minorities are underrepresented without accounting for the fact that there's less minority than there is majority.
I guess you could make the argument that the minority unemployment rates are higher, which implies minorities are not being hired in favor of white males. However, it only implies that racism plays a role in the hiring process; it does not confirm it. Honestly, racism is tricky to measure, especially since most offenders won't admit to it.
Oh, and you're a very good writer. =D
I'd be really interested in seeing the demographics of people qualified to get science jobs. The pie chart above looks like what I perceive my college campus was. The demographics of the area I live in (Phoenix) are quite different. I'm a software engineer and the technical side of my workplace looks about like that pie chart as well.
The unemployment chart doesn't tell the whole story since minorities have a higher unemployment across the board (something like 20% unemployment for black men in 2010, for example.)
Even if 100% of the black or Hispanic people who couldn't find a job now could, they'd still be underrepresented based on the numbers I see above. I'd like to know if the issue is they can't go to school (or believe they can't) to get a degree for this kind of work or if they don't WANT this kind of work.
Here are two alternative headlines for this article you could of seen but won't...
"Despite Obama Economy, Percentage Of Female Prof's Double Last 20 Years."
"Report Confirms The Obvious, Last Hired-First Fired."
And this doesn't even touch on when someone has a legitimate objection to the current scientific dogma.
Small quantities of groups of people have less impact on the larger groups of people. I think the effect of the smaller group is because they smaller in quantity and not a race or sex issue.
If you really want to create equality, call us all human and do away with all this science of segregation in the first place. The label making of peoples and the laws that support them actually support and maintain segregation thinking. Of course those who receive benefits in the segregation thinking will cry foul to my proposal as it undermines the free gummies\advantages to them. Food for thought!
"Gummies", lol, i crack me up.
Gimmies that is.... snort.
I suppose I was channeling gummy bears.
Those candies are awesome!
By definition I think "minorities" would in fact be the "minority" in representation. Especially those who earned their education overseas. If I'm an American employer, I don't know the quality of education they received overseas (as made light in the questionable level of expertise in some, but certainly not all, chinese educated engineers).
As far as the "under-representation" of women especially, have you ever sat in any universities science/engineering courses? I'm assuming you have, and so you should know that fewer women becoming engineers would mean fewer women working as engineers.
what Chad implied I am stunned that a mother can get paid $7883 in one month on the internet. have you seen this web link http://www.jump14.com
"....n the social sciences and biology, women earned half or more of the degrees granted at all levels. And they earned between 70 to 80 percent of the degrees in psychology....."
Apparently, social studies, biology and psychology are not legitimate fields of science.
What's more disturbing about this is that this whole article is a sensationalist, slightly racist, and esoteric assumption that so-called 'minority' scientists think of the world in terms of what 'majority' scientists are. This type of nationwide broadcasting cements in these dividing ideas; that we are all separate, which is not the case. Racism is still all over the place, but it's mild racism so most of us don't even notice it. Point me in the one direction to who is honestly caring about being divided among their own collective. Collective consciousness transcends the boundaries we create from within ourselves, physically and inherently figuratively.