Women are often underrepresented in the academic and professional fields of engineering this could be as a result of uncertainties of whether studying engineering is favorable to females, but many women have historically and currently contributed to different fields of engineering. Many organizations and programs have been established to understand and overcome this tradition of gender differences. Engineering skills are in short supply, and it is expected that these types of technical skills will be increasingly needed for future jobs. The number of women working in engineering is increasing, but more is needed.
The Evolution of Women in Engineering
The history of women as designers and builders of machines and structures predates the development of engineering as a profession. Before the term “engineer” was created in the 11th century, women contributed to the technological progress of global society. In the 19th century, women who participated in engineering work often received academic training in mathematics or science.
Ada Lovelace received a private education in the field of mathematics before starting to work with Charles Babbage on his analysis engine, which would earn her the title of “the first computer programmer”. “At the beginning of the 20th century, more women began to enter engineering projects, but they were usually regarded as anomalies by men in their departments. The first university to award a bachelor’s degree in engineering to a woman was the University of California, Berkeley. Elizabeth Bragg received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1876, becoming the first female engineer in the United States.
Before the 19th century, it was very rare for women to obtain a bachelor’s degree in any field, because due to gender differences, they did not have the opportunity to enroll in universities. Some universities began to recruit women into their universities in the early 19th century, and by the mid-19th century, they began to recruit women into all academic courses, including engineering.
In the United States, the entry of World War II caused a serious shortage of engineering talents because men were conscripted into the military. During this period, there were very few public attacks on female engineers. The role of women in the labor force, especially in the field of engineering, has undergone tremendous changes in the period after World War II.
As women start to marry at a later age, have fewer children, divorce more frequently, and no longer rely on the financial support of men to support their families, although their wages are lower than that of men, they begin to work in the engineering labor force.
Why You Should Study Engineering as a female Student
Employers want female engineers
The workplace (and the world) thrives on diversity and balance. In engineering majors, there is a big difference in the number of men and women, so as a minority group, women are highly sought after and valued. You will be appreciated not only for your outstanding skills, but also for the insight you can bring to this industry.
You will change the world
Engineers use their problem-solving skills to deal with many of the world’s biggest problems, so you have the opportunity to create new technologies to improve our way of life. For example, you can create new medical equipment for patients, design ways to provide clean water to those who cannot obtain it, and even develop more efficient cars and homes to help sustain our planet.
Engineers are well paid
Engineering not only provides women with the opportunity for a prosperous and valuable career, but it will also give you good rewards.
You have to be creative
Studying and working in engineering gives you the opportunity to be creative. You can design, build and create effective new products and technologies to solve real-life problems in new and more effective ways. In addition, you can work with professionals in other industries and sectors to produce influential, innovative and original works.
You will have many career options
As the world continues to rely on technology, an engineering degree will provide you with skills that are critical to our way of life. This gives you permission to explore a huge range of roles, which will help you discover your dream job, anywhere in the world.
Why more female engineers are needed
There are 6.1 million engineering roles in the UK and recent figures suggest that a further 1.8m engineers are needed by 2025. A gender balanced, diverse and inclusive workplace, which represents all parts of society, is more important than ever before to ensure we do not miss out on potentially game-changing talent that will tackle some of the biggest challenges we face, such as sustainability and climate change
The main barriers for aspiring female engineers
There is still a lot of work to be done in breaking the stereotype that engineering is a mainly male profession. The reason for the low participation rate of women in the engineering field is the prevalence of values related to men
The lack of female role models is a problem
In order to make further progress, we need more visible female role models, work hard to inspire girls to pursue engineering careers in schools, and encourage more women to apply for or retrain.
The threat of stereotypes
This may lead to the underrepresentation of women in the engineering profession. Since engineering is a field traditionally dominated by men, women may be less confident in their abilities, even when they perform equally. Due to this gender bias, women’s choice to enter the field of university engineering is also highly correlated with the background and exposure of mathematics and other science courses during high school.
Gender roles in workplace culture
For example, some women in engineering find it difficult to re-enter the labor market after a period of absence. Since men are less likely to take time off to support their families, this has a disproportionate impact on women. Men are also related to holding leadership roles in the workplace. By mastering power over women, they may create an uncomfortable environment for them. For example, compared with men, women may receive lower wages, more responsibilities, or less appreciation.
This is also a factor that causes differences between men and women in the workplace. It is said that male-to-male communication is more direct, but when a man explains a task to a woman, they tend to speak, or “speechless.” This comes from the stereotype that men are more qualified than women, and may lead men to treat women as inferior rather than equal. Several colleges and universities across the country are trying to close the gender gap between men and women in engineering by recruiting more women to join their projects.
Advice for aspiring female engineers
* Be confident in your work-adopt a “can do” attitude. It is not always easy, you will be driven out of your comfort zone, but this is the best way to develop and grow.
* Seek advice-ask parents, teachers, and lecturers if there is anyone who can talk to engineers, or you can talk directly with the company and find out if they provide work experience.
* Explore different ways to start your career. There are more and more apprentices available. These allow you to mix learning at work with learning in the classroom, reach the level of a degree, and make money while you are making money. Learn more about engineering apprenticeships.
* Ignore stereotypes-stereotypes are still an important part of the engineering community only when stereotypes are regarded as obstacles. They need to be broken down and forgotten. In the grand plan of things, if you are good in your field of expertise, if you believe in yourself, you can do anything.
* Encourage and support other women-this is important because we need to work together to encourage other women to participate in engineering and show them that we understand their problems and obstacles. By sharing your own experiences, fears, and achievements, others will see engineering as a valuable and beneficial career choice. Even in today’s world, it is no secret that when you walk into an engineering company, this place is usually not full of women.
It is generally believed that if we are to meet the challenges of the built environment in the future, we must ensure the diversity, inclusiveness and social representation of our workforce. Therefore, we should all seek to diversify our labor force.
In order to continue to encourage women to enter the engineering field, universities, companies, and professional organizations all need to use some valuable resources. By creating an atmosphere conducive to all kinds of engineers, the entire industry will become stronger. If women feel that they are making this difference, then the retention rate will be higher.
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