According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, coauthor of the report "The Athena Factor: Reversing the Brain Drain in Science, Engineering, and Technology," women leave careers in engineering and science more often than men. Professor of economics Jennifer Hunt, Ph.D., notes that "the most important driver of excess female exits from engineering is dissatisfaction over pay and promotion opportunities, a factor explaining about 60% of the gender differential in exit rates." This is concerning American policy analysts, who have noted a decline in scientific publishing.
Hunt further notes the career exit gender gap is most prominent in fields that have the highest portion of male students, i.e., engineering. She says this contributes to a culturally-induced cycle where women lack opportunities men in these fields have. "Explanations hinging on the precise nature of engineering work should be discarded," Hunt says. "Instead remedies should be applied to all fields with a high share of male workers."