Share of women in US government Stem jobs has been static since 2005

Woman at computer

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Women are underrepresented in US federal Stem jobs and leave these posts at a higher rate than men, but more female supervisors might help

Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) fields at US federal agencies and they quit those jobs at a disproportionately high rate, according to the first new analysis from researchers at the University of Georgia. This study is the first of its kind to systematically examine women in Stem jobs in the US government. The team also discovered that the one factor that did appear to improve the number of women in such jobs is a greater number of female supervisors.

The team analysed employment at all 15 cabinet-level US departments, as wells as Nasa and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), between 2005 and 2018. On average, fewer than one in four Stem jobs were held by women in the Air Force, Army, Navy, the energy and transportation departments, and Nasa. When it comes to Stem jobs in the departments of Veterans Affairs, State, Interior, Homeland Security, Defense and Commerce, women account for less than 30% of these positions.