Women and Education
Women in Montgomery County today are more likely than men to have attained four years of college or more -- a trend that has been true since 2006 and which has continued to grow: 42.6% of women have at least four years of college, compared to 38.5% of men. Similarly, 19.3% of women have a graduate degree, compared to 17.2% of men.
Fields of Study
Men and women specialize in different fields (as measured by college degree held), but there are signs of convergence over time. Today, only 38% of women degree holders specialized in a science or engineer field, compared to 57% of their male counter parts. However, among younger professionals (25-39), the percent of women degree holders 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). Position #1-3 go to New York County (Manhattan), Middlesex County (Cambridge MA), and Los Angeles County -- each of which is far more populous, with at least 50% more population (and 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): specifically, 4.5% of all women in Montgomery County, 25 years or older, have a PhD.
- Earnings for women with a graduate or professional degree in Montgomery County are fourth highest in the nation, among mid and large sized counties (i.e. those with at least 150,000 residents). Position #1-3 go to Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in California (i.e. Silicon Valley) and Alexandria VA. By contrast, the earnings of males with a graduate or professional degree in Montgomery County rank only #14 on this same metric.
- 42% 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 at #18 among mid and large sized counties. For comparison, 57% of college-educated men in the County have a science or engineering degree. Montgomery County has more female workers 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 perform roughly on par on the SAT Reading section, with girls scoring an average of 546 and boys scoring an average of 543 in 2016. Girls 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 MCPS Data Dashboards (2017) also show that girls outperform boys, in both literacy and math across grades and time (with the one exception of second grade math). This data is collected by MCPS's student achievement monitoring system, which is used to determine whether students are learning and learning enough. 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 reports that girls are slightly less likely to receive free or reduced meals and to require English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training (see chart below). In addition, boys account for 71% of students at County Special Schools and Alternative Programs.
MCPS Teachers and Staff Gender Breakdown
Women dominate the MCPS workforce, accounting for 79% of all MCPS professional staff and 74% of supporting services staff.