For years we’ve seen a discrepancy between the number of women enrolled in college engineering programs and the number of women in the engineering workforce. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), the percentage of women in undergraduate engineering programs has hovered around 20% for the last 17 years. Yet only 13% of engineers are women according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At first glance, it seems like it will take care of itself in time. The workforce number will catch up. Yet it’s been years and that number isn’t catching up. According to a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) study, only 30% of women who earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering are still working in engineering 20 years later. Thirty percent of women who have left the engineering profession cite organizational climate as the reason.