Stubborn Statistics

Some statistics are just plain stubborn. In working Aviation Week’s annual workforce study, I am numbed by the reality that the rate of women in the workforce hasn’t changed from when I first started working in the industry in 1987. It lingers between 23-30% across the aerospace and defense industry workforce. As we prepared an upcoming feature on Twenty20s – identifying 20 U.S. university students who already are making a difference – just over 25% of those selected were women.
There were more than a fair number of the students who were foreign born, though less than the ratio for the U.S. university engineering population.
More than half of the students were linked to NASA in some way -- either through Fellowships, Internships, or funding/assistance for research and projects. Two of the individuals chosen told us they expect to see a person on Mars during their careers.
One of the students admits to filling out paperwork for standardized tests and not knowing how to respond to questions about career interests. Accounting was first. He chose aerospace engineering, the next on the list.

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