Where Are the Women Engineers?: Page 2 of 2

Only 12% of engineers are women. That needs to change.

waters as founder and CEO of Nomiku.

Consider this blog your invitation to join us. And come prepared for an exceptional discussion and networking. These women are stellar examples of engineering and business acumen.

The panel and networking session will start at 7:30 a.m. (early, yes, but we wanted to make sure people could attend and still get to their desks on time) when we will gather at the San Jose Convention Center, room 211D, for what will be a thought-provoking panel featuring the above-mentioned leaders. We will then allow for networking and continued informal discussion with our panelists.

The session is open to all ESC attendees. You can register for ESC here and let us know if you plan to attend or if there’s any specific questions you’d like the panel to answer by commenting below or emailing me .

We hope to see you there.



Several issues were not discussed as why women may eschew engineering as a career choice. *Education requirements: A typical engineering degree on average may take up to five years (or more) to complete (the lights rarely go off in the computer labs) and if there ever is a lapse along the way (childbirth, marriage, unemployment, etc.) recovery may be difficult, especially in a fast changing field. Engineering schools and employers look at any interruptions or gaps in education as a negative. Mos

My wife was "forced" into the Science stream at school (1960s) and ended up doing Physics at Uni. She would have been much happier doing languages (but wouldn't have met me). She stayed home to look after our children until they left Primary School. Then she started teaching - but not science.

I was being harassed at a conference because there was only one female engineer in my department - until I pointed out that every female who had ever applied had been accepted but lots of males hadn't. There is a tendency for people (of any gender) to go into the career that pays the most given their university entrance score, due to external pressures and the fact that they don't really know details of the job. Most people I know who are happy in their job have changed course midway.

This is a complicated subject, and I am all for qualified people of any description pursuing their career ambitions. Having said that, I am not optimistic that increasing enrollment of any particular group is the best answer. If the "imposter syndrome" is the problem, individual counseling is a better answer; if it is overtly hostile behavior by members of another group (men in this case), address that as a behavior issue, not thought control.

Bob Dodge, As an instructor, I am not aware of the conversations my students have unless I happen to be standing within earshot. If comments like "you're only here because you're a girl" are made about my female students, chances are they will not be made when I can hear it. Other methods, as described in the video I referenced, are needed to make sure that everyone feels welcome in the classroom. Increasing diversity in the classroom and the office is always a good thing.

My father had a full workshop and repaired all his own cars. He also had a lathe which he let me use. I bought a car with a blown engine and he bought me a manual and told me I had to fix it. I rebuilt my first engine at 16. Long story short: Obtained a degree in electrical engineering and found that I really enjoyed the project management aspects of it more so I went into management. Then I had two sons and I took a less challenging job. My story is not unique - priorities changed.

I have worked with a lot of engineers in my career, including several female ones. I have also come across a few engineers whose technical competence was quite limited, they were not the among the females. I find that the assertion that the lack of more female engineers MUST BE DUE TO DISCRIMINATION is quite offensive. Consider that the choice of an engineering career is a very major decision, and that the pursuit of the education does limit one's choice of schools a bit, not everybody would t

William, Discrimination is, of course, not the only reason but it is definitely one of them. Young people entering college are especially vulnerable to peer pressure. Face it, there are people that like to demean others to make themselves feel important. Telling a young woman that she doesn't belong in an engineering program because she is a woman is sexism plain and simple. We should all be aware of this type of behavior.

Not everybody would be willing to go to the effort to be an engineer. Certainly not all would accept the lack of resources and support from other parts of the business. Those able to move up and leave the pain behind for more money would leave, only those with a deep love of engineering would stay. This 500 character limit is unfortunate, a lot like twitter.

I'm sure that as more women want to become engineers their numbers will change and grow. It's not a competency or societal issue, it's quite simply that very few women are interested in engineering.


Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.