Women Face Obstacles in Technology Education and Employment
"Balancing the Equation," a recent report by the National Council for Research on Women, reveals the deficit of women in the fields of science and engineering. In the early 1990's, 54 percent of female students at top colleges and universities quit majors in engineering, science and math, as compared with 39 percent of male students. In 1999, women earned less than 20 percent of computer science bachelor degrees. The report encourages professors to interact more with female students, and criticizes "the first year 'killer' computer courses designed to weed out students rather than invite their participation."
Women earning degrees in science also face obstacles in their career path. While women earn approximately 25 percent of science doctorates, less than 10 percent of full professors in science and technology are women. Linda Basch, executive director of the National Council for Research on Women explains that "Women are 50 percent of the labor force, but represent only 12 percent of professional scientists and engineers." Basch hopes industry and academia will make additional efforts to recruit women to the sciences and aid their advancement.
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