There are many recent studies that try to discover anew why, during a time when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business, there so few women scientists and engineers.
The 2010 AAUW research report Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) presents evidence that can help to explain this puzzle. Primarily, the research points to environmental and social barriers – including stereotypes, gender bias and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities. These elements persist to block women’s participation in STEM, but the report does recommend things everyone can do to help the associated fields open up. A collection of related recent reports can help flesh out this picture. The good news: Women are slowly on the increase in academic departments in these areas. The bad news: women continue to earn less $ than their equally educated and experienced male counterparts, across the board in almost every career category.