Diversifying the engineering profession takes continued support
After some recent business lunches, I realized how much I value my great network of truly admirable female engineers. We share professional and personal experiences related to career growth, leadership and work-life balance. In short, we support and encourage one another.
This week we celebrate National Engineers Week, which made me curious about the number of women currently in engineering. The Society of Women Engineers conducts research as part of their mission to “stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.”
According to SWE research, the trend continues for fewer females than males pursue and receive degrees in engineering. In general, interest has grown yet the percentage of females receiving degrees has remained relatively constant over the last 10 years. A further study shows that a greater percentage of females switch out of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to pursue a non-STEM degree when compared to their male counterparts.
Even with degrees, fewer women enter the workforce as an engineer and more females leave the profession over time when compared to males. The demand for engineers will continue to grow. This intensifies the need to promote engineering professions with underrepresented groups such as women and minorities.
If you want to learn more about the STEM gender gap, I encourage you to follow these links:
- 40 Percent of Female Engineers Are Leaving The Field. This Might Be Why
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a large need for engineers and computer-related employees
I am an engineer who enjoys solving problems and working with others find the best solution. I will continue to promote the field of engineering and encourage others to enter the profession any chance I get. I will also endeavor to support and empower my fellow female engineers for continued success.
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