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38703 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2012 11:48 PM by FemGeek RSS
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Sep 13, 2011 7:39 AM

Why do you think there are not that many women in engineering, specially electrical engineering?

Some statistics say it has to do on how girls are raised. What do you think?

  • Novice 2 posts since
    Apr 22, 2011

    What little girl grows up wanting to be an engineer? Although, there's also not a lot of openings in the princess field.

  • M.Emara Novice 37 posts since
    Sep 14, 2011

    The percentage of women in engineering general speaking is low not only in electrical department. I want to add something more that percentage of women is low in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) studies. According to an article I read it on IEEE Spectrum august edition: that the problem is a physiological matter that there is a conflict between romantic feelings and STEM studies.


    The Article:

  • MetMan Apprentice 93 posts since
    Oct 24, 2011

    Maybe because Women in general seem to be more relationship oriented than Men?  Engineering a new circuit board while hidden away in your cubicle isn't the most interactive activity...


    Plus the idea of spending 60% of your time surrounded by a bunch of geeky socially awkward guys who love to debate OS's and can't wait for Star Wars to be released in 3D probabaly appeals more to the majority of Men than it does Women. 

  • Novice 10 posts since
    Feb 10, 2012

    In all honesty, look at the preceeding answers to see what they have to deal with.


    I'm actually seeing more women in engineering, but the fields I am primarily involved with, namely nuclear engineering and environmental engineering.  Not sure why EE doesn't appeal to women.  But the geek answer might be on to something.  The State and Federal governments are more favorable environments too, they would not tolerate some of the things that go on in the private sector.


    -- John

  • ErvinSeferi Novice 2 posts since
    Feb 21, 2012

    I don't agree with any of the above comments. I am a double major in math and physics and i currently work as a test engineer. My little sister is planning to become an engineer and so is my wife. Both of them in college. The problem is not with women its with our society. Very few fathers yelled across the house, "daughter you better get your ***** here and help me with removing these breaks or there is no tv for a week." I think the attraction to become an engineer is the praise from the people which you help. Initially its that first console you fixed (it was only a broken wire or a broken oscillator nintendo was horrible for this.) still to an outsider this was amazing all of a sudden you became the smartest guy in the neighborhood. Engineering is an acquired taste. My sister and my wife get it from me. I have forced them to program with a parallax mcu's and some other simple ones. I have explained to them how engineering works and what an engineer really does. I have tutored them in math and sciences such as chem and physics. At the end of the day these classes became fun rather then arduous and hard. Then curiosity sinks in and all choice is taken away from you. the next thing you know is the end of college and a science diploma or engineering diploma is hanging of your wall. we all don't speak of the brain damage from a caffeine induced comma but we know its happened


    Ervin Seferi

    Test Engineer

    • MetMan Apprentice 93 posts since
      Oct 24, 2011



      I have no doubt that women are quite capable of being great engineers.  They can be just as good at math/science/engineering if they wish.  But the reality remains that the majority of engineers and engineering students are men, and that's the real question here:  why are women not as interested in engineering even though they are just as capable?


      I have 2 brothers and 4 sisters.  My two brothers are both math/science geeks like myself, and one of them is in engineering school.  3 of my 4 sisters are just not interested and really dislike math, for whatever personal or cultural reasons they just prefer other subjects like writing/art/history.  My 4th sister has much more of an interest in electronics and how things work, I could see her becoming an engineer.  But the trend certainly seems to fall mostly along the gender line...


      Thats great that you have helped your wife and sister develop an interest in engineering.  Maybe women just need more people like you encouraging them to break these gender stereotypes.

  • Novice 1 posts since
    Feb 21, 2012

    I think it has deal with them not being encouraged and often backhandedly discouraged.  I know I have been, and often paired up with the worst students in a class for class projects where I couldn't make up for their lack of work (hard to do the work of 3 people).


    To change this I am currently working on little projects to teach Junior to High School kids electronics.  I'm hoping to introduce them to Girl's camps, such as the Girl Scouts, or Camps that are for girls.  My hope is the making of these projects, things they would actually use, they would be come more interested and maybe enter into one of the engineering fields.  I'm also going as green as possiable in the designs to show that it is possiable to go green and not give up the things you love.


    Ohh just so you know the first computer programmer was a woman Ada Lovelace, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper lead the change from machine level coding and to complier languages such as COBOL and many others, it is only in the last 30 years that programming was taken over by men.  Until it became profitiable it was considered a woman's science since it was easy work (ie like typing/seceritary work) and maybe because they had to work together to make sure each part of the program worked with the other, men tend to like bein lone wolves.  Programing wasn't as phycially demanding as electrial design like crawling around in a room sized Computer that used vacum tubes.


    In the interests of full disclousure, I am 1 year from a BA in History but burnt out and now  about 2 semesters from an AAS or AS in Computer Engineering, and I have to say I love both the learning about the past and the sloving of a problem.  Thing is there is no support network in place for women interested in Engineering at my school and even the female instructors are unapproachable for mentoring.

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