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NCSES Publishes Latest Women, Minorities, and Persons With Disabilities in Science and Engineering Report

By National Science Foundation

February 1, 2017

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The U.S. National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) on Tuesday announced the publication of its "2017 Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering" report, which quantifies the underrepresentation of these populations in science and engineering (S&E).

"An important part of fulfilling our mission to further the progress of science is producing current, accurate information about the U.S. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce," says NSF director France Cordova. "This report is a valuable resource to the science and engineering policy community."

Among the report's key findings is that underrepresented minority women earn a higher proportion of S&E degrees than their male peers. In addition, although women have earned about half of S&E bachelor's degrees since the late 1990s, their representation varies widely by field, ranging from 70 percent in psychology to 18 percent in computer science.

Meanwhile, 20 years of progress has not closed the wide gap in educational attainment between underrepresented minorities and whites and Asians. Furthermore, black, Hispanic, and disabled people are underrepresented in the S&E workforce.

NCSES also found that two years ago, fewer scientists and engineers were unemployed compared to the general U.S. population.

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