Posted by: Middleclass Search | November 7, 2013

Women in Technology

I just found out some numbers that shocked me (something that’s hard to do) that the number of women in STEM jobs has been decreasing.  If you have read my blog you know I’m an engineer, I am male, and I am old. When I started engineering school the number of female engineers was in the 3% range. It increased during my working years and I thought the lack of female engineers was solved.

Designing and implementing any system is a collaborative effort. Whatever the scientific reason is, in reality in any design effort the women on the team bring a different perspective to the solution. I don’t know what caused the downturn – maybe engineering is not cool, it is certainly hard work but it is one of the few professions that is truly creative. If America is to prosper in the future it needs more people working in STEM positions both male and female. From my experience that ideal mixture should be 50-50.

As far as being “cool” there are many well-known women celebrities who studied engineering before pursuing other careers. They should come out of the “technology closet” and encourage young women to consider engineering and that it is okay for a woman to be smart. I believe Cindy Crawford, had a scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern and Teri Hatcher studied mathematics and engineering before they entered their current careers.

I don’t have an answer – I know there are organizations that support recruiting females into the engineering profession. They need to make being an engineer cool! (Which it is!)

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