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As More Women Enter STEM Fields, Difficulties Remain


At Stanford University, the share of computer science degree recipients who were women jumped between 2012 and 2016.

More than twice as many women received bachelors degrees in psychology in 2016 as they did undergraduate degrees in computer science, engineering, and the physical sciences combined, according to the latest data available from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Credit: Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

A new report from researchers at Georgetown University suggests women may be more inclined to drop out of certain science, technology, engineering, and technology fields when they get low grades in disciplines that are stereotypically male and where men are already overrepresented.

Consequently, the report notes it is significant when movement toward gender parity in such fields transpires.

An analysis of U.S. Department of Education data found 10 schools awarded at least 100 computer science degrees to women at the bachelor's level and higher in the 2015-2016 academic year--up from only one in the 2011-2012 year.

Another study estimated the University of Southern California awarded 848 bachelors and higher degrees in computer science in 2016. Concurrently, the school's percentage of women graduates rose from 17.8% to 29%.

Meanwhile, Stanford University's share of female computer science degree recipients climbed from 14.3% to 25% between 2012 and 2016.

From The Wall Street Journal
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