It is no secret that there you can find massive gender gaps in certain professional fields. These gaps begs questions like, how big is the gap? And has it always been like this?
These were some of the questions that Computer Scientists Randy Olson set out to answer in graphic form by charting the US NCES 2013 Digest of Education Statistics.
As he puts it in his description of the chart found here:
"One oft-cited problem with Computer Science is its glaring gender disparity: In a given Computer Science class, men will outnumber women as much as 8 to 2 (20% women). This stands in stark contrast to most other college majors, which have women outnumbering men 3 to 2 on average (60% women). This observation made me wonder: Are other STEM majors suffering the same gender disparity?"
His findings show that fields like Health Professions, Public Administration, Education and Psychology are amongst the most women-dominated majors in the US.
"Perhaps the more fascinating trend in the above graph is how the gender composition of these majors have changed in the past 40 years. Several majors, such as the Health Professions and Education, have been woman-dominated as far back as we have reliable data. But other majors, such as Psychology and Communications/Journalism, didn’t see their rise to preference until the late 1970s. Perhaps the most dramatic gender composition change occurred in Agriculture, which started as a gentleman’s club in 1970 (only 4% of degrees conferred to women) and grew to an even 50%-50% split by 2012," Randy Olson says of the chart.
What do you think of it? Are there fields of study that surprise you? And how do you think the chart would look for Europe?
Let us know in the comment field below.