Reflecting on women in science and tech, NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman notes that fewer than one-third of the agency’s scientists, and just over one-fifth of its engineers, are women, and calls the situation “atrocious,” according to an article from USA Today. Newman was speaking at NASA headquarters as part of the “United State of Women” Summit.
Though female students now outnumber men on college campuses, according to the article, the percentage of girls taking Advanced Placement (AP) computer science remains low and young women are not earning as many math and science degrees. Women reportedly earned just 21% of computer science doctoral degrees in 2014, the same number as a decade earlier. In only a few areas – biological/agricultural sciences, social sciences and psychology – have women earned more science-focused doctoral degrees. Newman suggests that schools make STEM field pathways less cutthroat and STEM courses more exploratory.
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