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‘O.R. analyst’ ranks third for women in STEM jobs

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science, technology, engineering and math fields jobs are mostly dominated by menSTEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs are mostly dominated by men, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but there are a few exceptions to the rule, including “operations research analysts.” A Jan. 12 article on USA Today’s “College” website ranks “operations research analysts” third among STEM jobs with the highest percentage of women employed in the field, behind only psychologists and medical and health services managers.

The USA Today article notes that O.R. analysts use “mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations solve complex problems, from using statistics to help inform decisions to gathering input from employees. Most operations research analysts have master’s degrees in operations research, engineering, computer science, mathematics or physics.”

The O.R. field “only has 55.4 percent female workers, but that is still a considerable amount when looking at women in STEM,” the article continues. “The reason for this, says analyst Laurie M. Orlov in her article on cio.com, is that jobs in the business technology arena capitalize on women’s greatest strengths in the workplace: communication, collaboration and problem solving.”

It’s worth noting that along with psychologists (71.9 percent), medical and health service managers (71.8 percent) and medical scientists (52.5 percent), operations research analyst is one of only four STEM jobs in which the percentage of women employed exceeds 50 percent. “Statisticians” (49.9 percent) ranks fifth on the list.

In contrast, the five STEM jobs with the highest percentage of men working in the profession are completely dominated by males. The list includes mechanical engineers (91.2 percent), surveying and mapping technicians (90.3 percent), electrical and electronic engineers (87.7 percent), computer network architects (87.6 percent) and chemical engineers (87 percent).

“It is a widely discussed fact that jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, commonly referred to as STEM careers, are held mostly by men,” concludes the USA Today article. “Our close analysis of the top five STEM jobs with the highest percentage of men working in the profession and the top five STEM jobs with the highest percentage of women working in the profession presents an alarming disparity in gender diversity.”

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