The Role of Women in Technological Progress – A Series for International Women’s Day

Additionally, other figures emerge in the actual employment relationship. According to figures by the Employment Agency, just over 15.4% of women worked in STEM occupations in 2018. In technological occupations, only 14.1% of employees are still female, while in computer science occupations, the figure is still 16.3%.
Most studies give cause for hope – by and large, there is some progress. However, the advances are small and are developing slowly. For example, the percentage of female students entering STEM fields is increasing very slowly. Twenty years ago, in 2001, that percentage was at 30.8%. In 2019, however, the percentage was 34.2%. If we additionally look at the percentage of females graduating in these subjects, the number has been increasing since 2015, but it had also been decreasing for five years before that.
So what is the situation in Germany? Are the government-sponsored efforts to get women more involved in technological professions having an effect?
Before we look at the current state: It is obvious that there are big regional differences when it comes to women at work. Whether or not women are accepted in the workforce depends on, among other things, the cultural framing. However, the fact that women are underrepresented in technological jobs applies to just about every country we could find data on. Comparing international data is difficult because different factors are examined and often degrees and occupations cannot be generalized. Therefore, in this section we will focus on the situation in Germany to show the development in a European country as an example.

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