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Currents 27:
Trends in Geoscience Degrees Conferred to Women

Geoscience Currents #27 reviews the latest data on the percentage of of geoscience degrees conferred to women. The percentage of geoscience doctorates conferred to women has increased by 5% since 2007 while the percentage of bachelor’s and master’s degrees conferred to women has remained steady over the same time period. Compared to other disciplines, the geosciences rank consistently ahead of all physical science and engineering degrees. Additionally, the geosciences had the largest increase in the percentage of degrees conferred to women between 1993 and 2006 for all science and engineering degrees. Read more in Geoscience Currents #27.



Question & Answer Session

Q: How do you define the geosciences? Does it include geological engineering and environmental science?
A: The geosciences include geological engineering and environmental science. For more information about the definition of the geosciences as a whole, AGI established a working definition of the geosciences in its 2009 Status of the Geoscience Workforce report (Appendix A).

Q: In terms of the labor force, are women making up an increased portion of the labor force?
Overall, women comprise a larger percentage of the workforce. In the geosciences, there was an 8 percent decrease (~30% to 22%) in the participation of women in geoscience occupations between 2003 and 2006. However in 2007, this percentage rebounded in 30 percent.

Q: What are the reasons for the 5% increase trend in geoscience degrees conferred to women? Is it due to the increase of federal funding flow to universities or are there other reasons?
We do not have data on the specific reasons for the 5 percent increase of geoscience doctorate degrees conferred to women between 2007 and 2009.

Q: Do you have any ideas on what sort of geoscience research do women undertake at postgraduate level? (pure or applied geoscience)
We do not have specific data on the type of research women undertake at the postgraduate level in the geosciences.

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