What Percent Of Systems Engineers Are Female?

A diverse group of female systems engineers collaborating in a modern office setting.

Finding out how many systems engineers are female can be challenging. Did you know that in 2021, only 16.6% of systems engineers in the United States were women?

This article will explore the current landscape for female systems engineers, including barriers they face and efforts to increase their representation.

In 2021, 16.6% of systems engineers in the United States were female. Women make up 20% of engineering graduates, but nearly 40% of them either quit or never enter the field. There is a significant gender gap in STEM fields, with women making up only 34% of the workforce.

Dive into the world of engineering with us!

Key Takeaways

  • In 2021, only 16.6% of systems engineers in the United States were women.
  • Women face barriers such as discrimination and lack of representation in leadership roles within engineering fields.
  • Programs and initiatives like scholarships, mentorship, and networking events aim to increase female representation in engineering.
  • Female engineers lead by example, breaking stereotypes and mentoring others to succeed in a male – dominated industry.
  • Strategies for women to excel include showcasing skills confidently, networking, and advocating for equality in the workplace.

Current Statistics on Female Representation in Engineering

A group of diverse female engineers posing in front of a city skyline.

Only 13% of engineers in the US are female, with a global average at 10%. The age breakdown shows that women aged 50 and older hold only 10% of engineering jobs.

Percentage of female engineers in the US

Exploring the percentage of female engineers in the US highlights a gender disparity in the field. The data below provides a snapshot of female representation in engineering within the United States.

Female Systems Engineers in the US (2021)16.6%
Change from Previous Year0.2 percentage points increase
Women with Bachelor’s Degrees in Science and Engineering Occupations (2021)7.7%
Engineering Graduates Who are Female20%
Female Engineering Graduates Not Entering the Field or QuittingNearly 40%
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded to Females13.8%

This table paints a clear picture of the challenges and progress in the quest for gender balance in engineering in the U.S. Through education and cultural shifts, there are ongoing efforts to close this gap and foster an inclusive environment for female engineers.

Global comparison of female engineers

Comparing the representation of female engineers around the globe highlights significant diversity. Here’s how countries stack up:

CountryPercentage of Female Engineers
United States16.6%
Global Average13.7%
IndiaApprox. 30%
European UnionApprox. 20%

This table offers a snapshot, showing the United States slightly above the global average. India leads with a higher percentage of female engineers, while the European Union also shows a stronger representation compared to the global average. The statistics reveal the challenges and opportunities in the field of engineering for women worldwide. Let’s now delve into the barriers faced by women in engineering.

Age and diversity breakdown of female engineers

The age and diversity breakdown of female engineers reveals insightful trends, reflecting both progress and challenges in the field. Let’s take a closer look through the following table, which showcases the distribution and diversity among female engineers:

Age RangePercentage of Female EngineersDiversity Breakdown
20-2935%Young professionals, increasingly diverse with a significant representation of women from various ethnic backgrounds.
30-3925%Middle-career professionals, diversity begins to narrow with fewer women of color compared to younger age groups.
40-4920%Experienced professionals, marked decrease in diversity, with most female engineers being white or Asian.
50+20%Senior professionals, least diverse group, highlighting long-standing barriers to entry and advancement for women of color.

This data underscores the significant hurdles women, especially those from underrepresented groups, face in not only entering but also advancing within the engineering field. The trends suggest that while there are efforts to bring more women into engineering, particularly younger women, sustaining their careers and climbing to leadership roles remains a challenge. This illustrates the critical need for interventions at all career stages to ensure a more diverse and inclusive engineering workforce.

Barriers Faced by Women in Engineering

Two female engineers collaborating in a male-dominated office environment.

Women in engineering face workplace inequality and discrimination, hindering their professional growth. The lack of representation in leadership roles poses a significant challenge for women pursuing careers in engineering.

Workplace inequality and discrimination

In the field of industrial engineering, females face unequal treatment compared to their male counterparts. Gender bias and discrimination are evident in hiring, pay, and professional opportunities.

Despite making up 20% of engineering graduates, women encounter obstacles such as being overlooked for leadership roles or receiving lower salaries than men with similar qualifications.

Efforts to address workplace inequality have been made through diversity and inclusion programs; however, a significant gap still exists in achieving equal representation and treatment for female engineers.

Lack of representation in leadership roles

Only 16.6% of systems engineers in the US were female, showing a lack of women in influential positions. Women occupy only 13.7% of the global engineering workforce, highlighting a significant gender gap at leadership levels.

To address this disparity, various initiatives and programs have been created to support and encourage women in engineering roles. It’s crucial for aspiring female engineers to seek mentorship from successful women in the field to bridge this representation gap and propel themselves into leadership positions.

Moving forward to “Efforts to Increase Female Representation in Engineering”, various steps have been taken to empower women in engineering roles.

Challenges in engineering education

Transitioning from the lack of representation in leadership roles to challenges in engineering education, it’s essential to recognize the hurdles faced by women pursuing careers in this field.

Despite progress, female graduates entering into science and engineering occupations encounter significant gender-based obstacles. Many face stereotyping and biases that deter them from fully participating and advancing their careers.

Some female students find themselves discouraged due to a lack of mentorship opportunities or limited access to resources that could support their educational journey. The disparity between male and female enrollment remains evident, posing a challenge for achieving balanced representation within these fields.

Efforts to Increase Female Representation in Engineering

Initiatives and programs aim to support women in engineering. Read more for valuable insights on female representation in this field!

Programs and initiatives aimed at promoting women in engineering

To promote women in engineering, various programs and initiatives have been established:

  1. Scholarships and grants specifically for female engineering students are available to support their education financially.
  2. Mentorship programs connect female engineering students with experienced professionals in the field to provide guidance and support.
  3. Internship opportunities tailored for women in engineering enable them to gain practical experience and establish industry connections.
  4. Networking events and conferences create spaces for women to connect with fellow engineers and industry leaders.
  5. Workshops and seminars focus on building skills, confidence, and leadership abilities among female engineers.
  6. Advocacy campaigns raise awareness about gender disparities in engineering and advocate for change within the industry.
  7. Women in engineering organizations offer a supportive community, resources, and advocacy for career advancement.
  8. Industry partnerships collaborate with educational institutions to create pathways for women to enter the engineering workforce.
  9. Research initiatives investigate the factors contributing to gender disparities in engineering fields, aiming to inform targeted interventions.
  10. Outreach programs engage with younger girls to foster interest in STEM education and inspire future generations of female engineers.

Leveraging resources to support and encourage women in the field

To support and encourage women in the field of engineering, consider the following:

  1. Providing mentorship programs that connect female students with experienced women engineers to offer guidance, advice, and support.
  2. Creating networking opportunities through workshops, seminars, and conferences specifically tailored to address the needs and challenges of women in engineering.
  3. Offering scholarships, internships, and fellowships targeted at increasing female representation in engineering education and industry.
  4. Establishing inclusive work environments that prioritize diversity and implement unbiased hiring practices to foster a welcoming space for women engineers.
  5. Developing outreach programs aimed at engaging girls in STEM education from an early age to spark their interest in engineering as a viable career path.
  6. Encouraging active participation in professional organizations and societies that advocate for gender equality in engineering fields.

Leading by example as a female engineer

Female engineers are leading by example to bridge the gender gap in engineering. They inspire and mentor others, breaking barriers and stereotypes in a male-dominated field. Through their accomplishments, they prove that gender does not limit success in engineering.

Their leadership empowers more women to pursue STEM careers, making significant strides toward equality.

– Advice for Women in Engineering

Advice for Women in Engineering

Stand out by showcasing your skills and knowledge in the engineering field. Overcome challenges through determination and perseverance to succeed in a male-dominated industry.

Strategies for setting yourself apart in a male-dominated field

To stand out in a male-dominated field of engineering, it is crucial to showcase your expertise and skills confidently. Network with other professionals in the industry, build strong connections, seek mentors, and learn from their experiences.

Take advantage of professional development opportunities such as workshops and conferences to expand your knowledge and stay updated with the latest advancements in the field.

Moreover, don’t hesitate to voice your ideas and contribute actively during team projects or meetings. Highlight your achievements and take credit for your contributions without downplaying your abilities.

Overcoming gender barriers and challenges

Break through gender barriers by pursuing mentorship and networking with successful female engineers. Empower yourself by seeking opportunities to showcase your skills and expertise in the engineering field.

Advocate for workplace equality and support initiatives that promote diversity in engineering. Push past challenges by staying resilient, determined, and focused on your goals.

Leverage the resources available to you, such as women-focused programs and organizations aimed at fostering a supportive environment for female engineers. Stand out in a male-dominated industry by investing in continuous learning, honing your technical abilities, and demonstrating leadership potential.


In a male-dominated field, women make up only a small fraction of systems engineers. However, the strategies provided offer practical and efficient ways to navigate this landscape.

By emphasizing the importance and potential impact of these approaches, significant improvements can be achieved in female representation within engineering. Exploring additional resources or guidance can further enhance your understanding and support in this journey.

Take proactive steps to challenge the status quo and pave the way for a more inclusive future in engineering.


1. What percent of systems engineers are female?

About 20% of systems engineers are female.

2. Has the number of female systems engineers increased in recent years?

Yes, the number of female systems engineers has been slowly increasing over time.

3. Are there efforts to encourage more women to become systems engineers?

Yes, many organizations and schools are working to encourage more women to pursue careers in systems engineering.

4. Can women be successful in the field of systems engineering?

Absolutely, women can be very successful as systems engineers with the right skills and dedication.

5. Do companies value diversity in their teams of systems engineers?

Yes, many companies recognize the benefits of having a diverse team of system engineers and strive for inclusivity.

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