By Julia Carpenter

But there’s a more optimistic view to numbers like this, says Ariane Hegewisch, study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. When introducing potential career paths to young women, highlighting the growth could help contribute to the small shift in occupational segregation. Telling young women that men make up the bulk of the STEM workforce, for example, may dissuade women from entering the field, but pointing out that there’s been growth in female representation could instead motivate them to pursue a career in that industry.