Women in CS: Statistics
The following data was taken from a NSF and ACM-W funded report by
Tracy Camp, Keith Miller and Vanessa Davies, which can be found here.
Recent statistics show that the percentage of women in each successive
portion of the educational pipeline is significantly smaller than the
previous level. This indicates that women are not staying in the academic
part of computer science as long as men are. The following graphs are
compiled from data used in the Camp, Miller, and Davies study:
The graphs for students and faculty are separated because the numbers
were collected for different years ('95-'96 and '97-'98, respectively).
However, the implications remain the same. The pipeline starts with 27.5%
of CS BAs and BSs going to women and drops slightly to 26.7% at the
Masters level. The pipeline narrows considerably at the doctorate level
with 14.5% of degrees going to women. The situation for women faculty is
even more exaggerated with 16.4% of assistant professors, being female.
Women make up 11.7% of associate professors and only 7.6% of full
Shrinkage of the Pipeline Over Time
Not only does the percentage of women in CS academia shrink at each
successive level, but it seems to have followed a general downward trend
over time. The Camp, Miller, and Davies study reports that from
1983-1996, "the percentage of women obtaining bachelor degrees in CS went
from a high of 37.1% to a low of 27.5%." This represents a decrease of
25.9%. Conversely, over the same period of time, the percentage of women
being granted engineering degrees, increased by almost the same percentage
This data can be a little misleading, in that after 1996, the
percentages start to rise somewhat. However Camp, Miller and Davies
predict that those percentages will never reach the high point of the
mid-'80s. They also predict that the percentage of women receiving
bachelor's degrees will drop sharply between 2001 and 2002.
An good but older study written by Tracy Camp in 1997 can be found here.