Women and blacks increased their proportional representation in U.S. science and engineering professions over the eight-year period ending with 1984, but they were still rarer in these fields than in the professional work force as a whole, according to a report from the National Science Foundation.
In 1984, the latest year for which statistics are available, about 13 percent of scientists and engineers were women, up from 9 percent in 1976. During the same period the number of women in these fields grew about 2 1/2 times faster than the number of men.
The report shows women are much more likely to go into science than engineering. In 1984 about one in four scientists was female, while in engineering only one in 20 was female.
Black scientists and engineers have been increasing their representation as well, although not gaining as fast as women. In 1976 they accounted for 1.6 percent of the science and engineering work force, growing to 2.3 percent by 1984. Although the number of blacks grew twice as fast as the number of whites, the proportion is well below the 6 percent they hold in the professional world as a whole or the 10 percent of all jobs.