Women and Education
Fields of Study
Historically, county men and women have specialized in different fields as measured by college degree held, but there are signs of convergence over time. Today, only 38 percent of women degree holders specialized in a science or engineer field, compared to 57 percent of their male counter parts. However, among younger professionals (25-39), the share of women who hold a degree specializing in such fields grows by 5 percentage points.
Benchmarking: Highly Skilled and Educated Women in the Workforce
- Montgomery County has the 4th most female PhD's among all counties in the United States despite placing only 40th in total population. Positions first through third go to New York County (Manhattan), Middlesex County (Cambridge MA), and Los Angeles County -- each of which has at least one and a half times the population (ten times as many residents in the case of LA County). Regionally, Montgomery County has more female PhDs than Fairfax County and the District of Columbia combined (and twice as many as either individually), with 16,831 female PhD holders.
- Montgomery County has the highest percentage of women with a PhD among mid and large-sized counties (i.e. those with at least 150,000 residents). Four and a half percent of all women in Montgomery County who are 25 years or older have a PhD.
- Earnings for women in Montgomery County with a graduate or professional degree are the fourth highest in the nation among mid and large sized counties (i.e. those with at least 150,000 residents). Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in California (i.e. Silicon Valley) and Alexandria VA rank first, second, and third. By contrast, the earnings of males in the county with a graduate or professional degree rank only fourteenth on this same metric.
- Fourty-three percent of college-educated women in Montgomery County between the age of 25 and 39 have a science or engineering degree. This is high by national standards and places the county eighteenth among mid and large-sized counties. Montgomery County has more women working in computer, engineering, and science occupations than Fairfax County, despite having 100,000 fewer residents.
Montgomery County Public Schools: Performance of Girls
AP and IB Courses
Girls and boys in Montgomery County perform roughly the same on the SAT reading section, with girls scoring an average of 546 and boys scoring an average of 543 in 2016. Girls in the county outperform boys on the math section, scoring an average of 1113 vs. an average of 1080 for boys in 2016. Math scores have decreased slightly over time.
Evidence of Learning
Information from the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) Data Dashboards (2017) also show that girls outperform boys in both literacy and math across grades and time, with the exception of second grade math). This data is collected by MCPS's student achievement monitoring system. A student shows "Evidence of Learning" by attaining success on at least two measurement types (classroom, district, and/or external).
Indicators of Student Vulnerability
The MCPS At a Glace report for the 2017-2018 school year shows that girls are slightly less likely to receive free or reduced meals (FARMS) and to require English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training (see chart below). In addition, boys account for 71 percent of students at County Special Schools and Alternative Programs.
MCPS Teachers and Staff Gender Breakdown
Women dominate the MCPS workforce, accounting for 79 percent of all MCPS professional staff and 74 percent of supporting services staff.