Over the past 30 years, legislators, government agencies, professional societies, university administrators, and faculty have increasingly endeavored to raise the number of women pursuing higher education and careers in science and engineering (S&E). To a degree, these efforts have succeeded. Women have made substantial strides both in participating in postsecondary S&E education and in attaining careers in the academic workforce.[21] This chapter provides an overview of the representation of women in academic science and engineering at approximately the time of the faculty and departmental surveys (2004 and 2005). In some cases, results from more recent studies have also been included. These data and analyses provide a context for understanding and assessing the results of the surveys, as well as ideas for further research. The findings and recommenda­tions in this report, however, are based solely on the survey data.

The information in this chapter has been compiled from multiple sources. The data are drawn primarily from the Survey of Doctoral Recipients (SDR), conducted every 2 years by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF), which has been conducted every 5 years since 1988 by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the Department of Education.[22] The SDR samples all doctoral scientists and engineers, and the present study focuses on the subset who are faculty. The

NSOPF samples only faculty, and this report concentrates on the subset that is in the natural sciences and engineering. Both NSF and NCES release special reports, which were also consulted.[23]

Data from professional societies were also examined, including the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which focuses on faculty, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which surveys its members.[24] In addition, several discipline-oriented societies provided data from member surveys, for example, the Computing Research Association (CRA), the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).[25]

Finally, the committee consulted studies conducted by individual universities (e. g., on gender equity, salary, or climate) and publications by individual research­ers. An analysis of historical trends in the representation of women in academic science and engineering based on the SDR and NSOPF and a more extensive review of the research literature can be found in Appendix 3-1.