Why arent there more female engineers?
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Why arent there more female engineers?
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In U.S. universities, just 12 percent of engineering professors are women. Only 11 percent of engineers are female. Yet according to the Washington Post, women receive 20 percent of the engineering degrees awarded yearly.

Researchers have long wondered about this divide. They cite, for example, women's greater likelihood of becoming full-time parents. Some speculate that women tend to be less aggressive in pursuing opportunities. As it turns out, neither explains the problem. Instead, a chilly workplace environment seems to be the main reason women leave engineering careers.

In a new study, researchers surveyed more than 5,000 women. These women earned engineering degrees over the past 60 years. The Post reports that forty percent had either left engineering or never used their degree professionally. Women most frequently cited "uncivil workplace climates," as the main reason they left engineering. Examples included "the expectation to put in long hours of face time in the office, and the perception that there was little opportunity to advance."

Supervisor support, according to the Post, was often lacking. Additionally, women engineers complained about male coworkers. Men's comments and gossip suggested that women were not as smart as men. Many jobs and labs did not provide for workers with families. Women had to choose between careers and families. Other women disliked being the only female employee in their workplace.

Research shows that mentoring is important. Researchers interviewed women who stuck with engineering and went on to successful careers. These women often said they began their careers with supportive supervisors. Therefore, researchers told the Post, closing the gender divide in engineering requires changes from the top down. Changes must be system-wide. One researcher told the paper "this is not a womans issue'" and leaders must acknowledge that. It's "about creating a good work environment."

Critical thinking challenge: How did researchers answer this question: Why aren't there more female engineers?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/why-aren-t-there-more-female-engineers/

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COMMENTS (125)
  • LundyG-3
    1/25/2015 - 04:05 p.m.

    In U.S. universities, just 12 percent of engineering professors are women. Women that get their engineering degrees don't pursue that profession because of rude comments from male workers, the decision between work and family, and the bad work environment. More than 5000 women have engineering degrees, but a very very few of them are using them.

    This is upsetting because women are always looked down upon by men. Girls are actually very smart, athletic, and better at handling different situations. I believe that one day there will be a girl president and more and more female engineers.

  • AJ_Slater
    1/25/2015 - 09:06 p.m.

    In US universities women make up around 12 percent of the population of engineers. Women engineers are winning 20 percent of the awards awarded to engineers. Some people speculate it is become of the work environment and harsh conditions are the reasons why most women don't go into professional engineering. I think that if the reason why there is a better award to people ratio with women is that they take it more seriously while since so many males are bound to use engineering as a hobby rather than a career.

  • thanhn-Koc
    1/26/2015 - 12:02 a.m.

    Interesting to know that women will quit their careers just because of unbearable climate or gossip. Girls can be really too sensitive in my opinion.

  • RS2000RED
    1/26/2015 - 08:35 a.m.

    most woman aren't engineers because its buildings things and most girls dont like building things, some girls just think they might get hurt by building things. most boys like building things and dont care if they get hurt

  • MS2000TACOS
    1/26/2015 - 08:36 a.m.

    There aren't more female engineers because most of them think they have to choose between family and a real job. Or more femininely jobs like teaching.

  • SD2000green
    1/26/2015 - 08:38 a.m.

    They answered it by surveying thousands of woman. The reason for why there aren't many female engineers is because they did not want to spend long times in the office and they complained of uncivil workplace climates.

  • torionastewart123
    1/26/2015 - 01:05 p.m.

    I think that women should have the same rights as men do. People can easily put women down, and say that they can do do as many things. I feel that women should be treated equally as men. It is discriminating against a sex which means it is against the law. Females should get paid just as much as men because they do the same work if not more. This is an conflict that should be stopped and put to rest. It is time that we stop the sexist behavior and help one another to be treated equally.

  • brandi1018
    1/26/2015 - 01:22 p.m.

    I think that its great that they are trying to do something about women in engineering. The good thing about this is that they are trying to make changes. Although the men probably will never come around to the idea about changing the work conditions. An interesting fact is all the diffrent reasons why women who acttually get the degrees either don't follow through with them or quit. I believe that women should follow through with it and show evryone that the women are compatible and can heandle it.

  • mydog123
    1/26/2015 - 02:03 p.m.

    I think most girls aren't because engineers build and work on stuff and girls well some girls dont like working on stuff or building stuff like most guys like to do.

  • gbaby01
    1/26/2015 - 02:05 p.m.

    Women need to be more involved I feel like.If women were more involved,men probably wouldn't think that they are smarter than the women.Stand up women!

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