My experience is that women shy away from engineering because it isn't a
personable discipline. You don't get a better grade by finding out what the
Professor wants -- like the subjective disciplines--. You get a good grade by
getting the right answer. If you want more women in Engineering, change the
other disciplines, stop making them so women friendly. Stop having Professors
who make those disciplines so women friendly. When that happens, there will be a
lot more women Engineers.
cjb.... kids follow the roles modeled by those around them. Are you seriously
saying there is a doll gene and a car gene and that these things are
redetermined by God or DNA? Yes, the different sexes in GENERAL do have some
predispositions. But the realm of possible as taught and modeled by their
parents shape kids expectations of what they can do with their lives shapes
their futures far more. There are plenty of "tom-boy girls" and men who
excel in traditionally female roles (nursing, teaching... etc) that we know
there is no standardized X/Y gene bias towards dolls.
If a woman intends to have a family, she needs to weigh her talents against the
difficulties and challenges of any field she selects. However, she should not
pull back from the great rewards of engaging in the work she loves, especially
in view of so many opportunities that are opening up to her working from home.
Many companies are making that a possibility thanks to the internet. As a father
and grandfather of girls, that's a trend I fully support.
Excellent ad, Verizon.Thirty years ago I ran a government subsidized
on-the-job carpenter training program. The goal of the program was to get
people off of welfare--but 90% of the people sent to me were men who were only
marginally employable because of limited intelligence, personality issues,
and/or substance abuse problems. The people who assigned workers never even
told the women that I was willing--no, eager--to train females; instead, they
were shunted into beautician, bank teller, or lab tech training.
TeacherMom6 is right on. Schools are now totally female-centric. The way
schools are structured to the fact that males might be totally non-existent,
except maybe as the custodian in our elementary schools, is making it more
difficult than males. I understand things used to be geared for boys, boys,
boys maybe 50 or 100 years ago but our boys (not all of course) are suffering in
our school system and the loss of recess, standardized testing, policies against
certain types of play, cutting of programs such as physical education and a
dearth of male role models, especially in their formative years, are
contributing and concerning factors.
Re SchneeMost parents I know would indeed be uncomfortable if one of
their boys played with girl things. Most problbly wouldn't care if their
girls played with guy things. Most Tom boys grow out of it.Any
parent I know that cares about education, pushes mathematics and relayed
subjects equally on all their children regardless of sex. I've seen
parents who pretty much ignore their kids education, but those parents who do
get involved in their kids education all recognise math is an important subject
and they don't discriminate. They encourage ALL their kids to excel.My observation is that most boys are not interested in mathematics and
even fewer girls are interested in mathematics. The relatively few people who
are interested in mathematics and related subjects are mostly male. These are
commonly called geeks. They grow up to become our engineers and scientists in
the 'hard' sciences.
@cjb"Male and female minds have differences. Little girls like to play
with dolls. Boys like to play with model trucks and cars."Here's the problem. What is done with a little girl who likes to play
with model trucks and cars or a little boy that likes to play with dolls? Is
that discouraged? Depends on household I imagine, how rigidly they want to stick
to "gender norms". This stretches on to those who think a woman working
outside the house is harming her kids but don't think that about a man
doing the same.
Re Mr. JarvisBy dolls I didn't mean masculine action figures.
I am a parent and I know girls can at times pick up a toy car or
truck, but I also know they spent precious little time playing with them, if at
all.Do you really disagree with my post or are you just picking
around the edges at my words?Are you a parent? Of both sexes?
@cjbBoys also play with dolls. GI Joe and Transformers are
essentially just dolls catering to boys. Girls play with cars and trucks. It
all comes down to the individual child and what is given to them.Right now I can give my daughter anything and it will keep her entertained for
at least two minutes. She tends to play with trucks more than dolls because she
can manipulate the wheels.
On the other hand if a girl does show interest in math or the sciences or when
boys do, its great that in our society both have the opportunity to pursue their
interests. Neither though should be pressured to go into a field that
isn't their interest. People excell and are happy when they do what they
are interested in, assuming they have an interest.
Male and female minds have differences. Little girls like to play with dolls.
Boys like to play with model trucks and cars. As both get older their tastes
continue to be different. This isn't surprising nor is it bad.
Please...really if you are doing that to your child regardless of gender this is
about poor parenting not girl vs. boy. Do you want to know the reason behind
less numbers of engineering students that are female vs. male. It has nothing
to do with gender and everything to do with interest. Women are very different
from men. Most women that I know are not interested in crunching numbers and
looking at plans....I am married to an engineer I have seen his work in action.
I have daughters and if they wanted to follow the path of their father, I would
say "you go girl!" It is really ok though for men and women to be
different and follow different career paths. I think you have to go with what
interests a person. Our school systems do not cater to boys anymore. This is
where we are failing.
As a teacher, I think that the school system itself is structured around girls.
Our boys generally don't catch a break, and we are failing them in large
numbers. One only has to look at college enrollment by gender. We need to
focus on learning for everyone no matter what their gender maybe. We need to
encourage kids to follow their dreams regardless of whether it is teaching or
nursing, (traditionally female professions) or engineering and math.
(traditionally male professions)Until we as a culture quit focusing in on gender
or socioeconomic factors we will go nowhere. Children as a whole these days are
not interested in math and science professions as they were in earlier
generations...why? Because these are harder professions to attain and kids do
not know how to work, they want everything given to them on a silver platter.
As a society, we need to focus our efforts on teaching kids the old fashioned
American values of work equals better life no matter what profession that may
Many studies show that girls are given subtle messages by society steer them
away from STEM fields. Thankfully there are people like Dr. Hugo
Rossi at the University of Utah. He, along with others, helped implement the
ACCESS program for girls...a program designed to give girls who might be
interested in STEM careers valuable research experience, exposure to STEM
research labs, and a chance to network with professors and students who work in
STEM areas.Both of my daughters took part in the U's ACCESS
program. One went on to become a Chemical Engineer who now holds two patents
and does computer modeling for Nuclear Reactor facilities across the world.
Another daughter is now a charge nurse in a local hospital's surgical unit
with plans to apply to DNP programs. The exposure to STEM careers they gained
in the U's ACCESS program was a major factor in their discovery of their
interest and aptitude for a STEM career. Indeed, they discovered that a STEM
career was NOT contrary to their nature, but was something they could excel in.
The main point here is not to push girls into the science field against their
will, but to help parents understand that they should always help girls - and
boys - explore all their options and leave the decision up to them.The same way, we should not force our own opinion on girls and make them think
there's no happiness for them in the workplace. Women should never be
judged if they decide to work. Work is good for both men and women.
i became a mechanical engineer in large part due to the "encouragement"
of my dad. he saw my capacity for logic and math and regularly challenged me to
solve complex problems. i loved the attention and the challenge. i
got my bsme from notre dame and my msme from stanford. then i worked for nasa
for 10 years.i am now a stay at home mom (for the entire 19 years of
our marriage) and expecting baby #10.i loved
engineering/math/science. but i love being a mom more! my native abilities made
me a good engineer, but i'd like to think that my true gifts lie in being a
mother and wife.ps. because of my stem background i am not afraid to
homeschool my children through high school and have some awesome technical
discussions with my equally nerdy husband! :> don't think my education
was wasted in the least!
All these well-intended programs may have an unintended consequence. I worked
for a company in Arizona as an engineer alongside a female engineer coworker who
had been encouraged (pressured) by ads such as these to pursue a degree and
career in electrical engineering. About two years into her career she realized
the path she had chosen was contrary to her nature and decided to go back to
school to pursue a degree and career in counseling; a subject she recognized was
her true love. What a waste of precious time for her. Let’s not
encourage girls to pursue fields that may disagree with their true natures just
because the rest of society feels there aren’t enough females in the
sciences. Let’s raise our daughters to feel empowered to choose whatever
subject interests them without them feeling guilty that they’re not
pursuing an engineering or science degree.
In addition to the companies mentioned in the article, Google has been
highlighting women's accomplishments in history, and the Cosmos series
makes a point of noting the significant contributions that women made to science
despite the limitations placed on them. Kudos to all of these efforts to send
our youth a different message. It is thrilling to see females being celebrated
rather than relegated.
First of all I would not look to Verizon as a luminary about gender
relationships.Secondly, although I feel that our own experiences are
always more or less limited, many men would feel that women collectively
or individually are NOT "always apologizing". although some people may
be. I have heard more often "why does my wife never apologize?" or
"why is it always me who has to apologize, no matter who was at
fault?"In short I think this is a false depiction of life and
even a reversal of the truth for many.