School of Demography Weekly Seminar - Have gender disparities in STEM occupations been wittled away?


This study uses equivalent samples from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series in the United States to explore the representation of women in STEM occupations and compare their earnings with those of their male counterparts. Concerns over the representation of women in STEM occupations and earnings discrimination against them has persisted for several decades without an infusion of new knowledge to validate or allay these concerns. Using comparable samples and a well-tested methodology, this study suggests that the representation of women in some STEM occupations has increased over time, but in others their representation remains stagnant. While gender disparities in some STEM professions show declines, wage inequities by gender in STEM professions appear to persist. These findings may suggest that equality of opportunity for women in STEM occupations in the United States has taken positive steps forward, though the pace of that advance and equal pay for equal work is open to debate.

Peter Brandon is a social demographer who studies family organization and family diversity and change.  His past child care research has highlighted the importance of understanding family networks, informal child care, and the determinants of parents’ child care choices.  His other research on childhood disabilities underscores the value of using longitudinal data and time use data for gaining insights into the barriers parents confront when raising children with disabilities.  His research on vulnerable populations of children overlaps with his other research on living arrangements, welfare, participation, and the dynamics of poverty and employment.  Brandon’s work highlights the connections among parental work-family decisions, children’s well-being, changes in household composition, and social policies. His new work focuses on gender disparities in occupational mobility.  

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