MIT female science and engineering doctoral degree recipients were offered nearly equal salaries compared to their male peers last year, although there is a substantial difference across the country in favor of men.
A National Science Foundation report found a $13,200-a-year difference for 1993 graduates nationwide. However, for MIT graduates, the difference was much smaller. Of 100 salary offers to MIT doctorates reported to the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising in 1996, the mean offer to the 55 men was $66,800, vs. $66,200 for the 45 women.
The NSF found that women earn more than half of the bachelors degrees in biological sciences. Of 151 biology majors in MIT's class of 1997, 74 are women (49 percent)--slightly below the national average.
The report--entitled "Women, Minorities and Persons With Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 1996"--said women earn only 16 percent of engineering undergraduate degrees. But at MIT, 30 percent of seniors majoring in engineering are women (211 of 700 students). In fact, women outnumber men in two of the School's departments; 28 of the 45 civil engineering majors were women, and three of five in material science and engineering were female.
Nationwide, African-Americans and Asians-Americans each earn 7 percent of the science and engineering degrees. At MIT, Asians-Americans comprise 32 percent of the seniors majoring in engineering and science, while African-American students are at 3 percent.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 5, 1997.