L. Jarboe
PLoS ONE 14(10): e0223568. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223568
Publication year: 2019

Engineering remains the least gender diverse of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Chemical engineering (ChE) and electrical engineering (EE) are exemplars of relatively high and low gender diversity, respectively. Here, we investigate departmental, institutional, and regional factors associated with gender diversity among BS graduates within the US, 2010–2016. For both fields, gender diversity was significantly higher at private institutions (p < 1×10-6) and at historically black institutions (p < 1×10-5). No significant association was observed with gender diversity among tenure-track faculty, PhD-granting status, and variations in departmental name beyond the standard “chemical engineering” or “electrical engineering”. Gender diversity among EE graduates was significantly decreased (p = 8×10-5) when a distinct degree in computer engineering was available; no such association was observed between ChE gender diversity and the presence of biology-associated degrees. States with a highly gender diverse ChE workforce had a significantly higher degree of gender diversity among BS graduates (p = 3×10-5), but a significant association was not observed for EE. State variation in funding of support services for K-12 pupils significantly impacted gender diversity of graduates in both fields (p < 1×10-3), particularly in regards to instructional staff support (p < 5×10-4). Nationwide, gender diversity could not be concluded to be either significantly increasing or significantly decreasing for either field.