It’s Time for Some Wengineering

We all agree that men and women are inherently different, don’t we? And because we’re not the same, our experiences in the workforce are not the same. This is unmistakably true in the engineering profession.

According to the Department of Labor, women comprise only 13% of the engineering labor force. Why? How can we improve? Well, I know first-hand that the smart and strong women already within or entering the field of engineering can most definitely bring about the change.

Women represent 57% of the college population, but only 18% of engineering majors. Why aren’t women seeking a career in engineering? According to a study by the American Sociological Association, female students often think of engineering as a male-specific career and believe that society does as well. It’s time to debunk that perception.

The UK engineering firm Atkins surveyed 300 female engineers. The research showed what drove these women to the engineering field and highlighted how rewarding a career in engineering can be. It found that:

  • 98% of female engineers found their job rewarding.
  • 91% cited an inspirational teacher as a reason for choosing an engineering related career.
  • 75% were interested in problem-solving and fixing things from an early age.
  • 90% believe greater awareness of what engineers do is required.

Are you a problem solver? Do you want to improve your community and the world in which we live? You can do both in engineering. Are you hesitant to launch a career in a currently male-dominated industry? I understand. Really, I do. I had some hesitation too, but let me tell you what I’ve found in my 27-year-long engineering career:

  • Women are excellent communicators, which makes us excellent employees in a relatively introverted industry.
  • Women are good listeners, which enables us to learn more from others.
  • Successful female engineers find their voice in the workplace! This is important. We must say no when we should. We must give our opinions. We must be confident.
  • Females tend to be good at multitasking, persuasion, teamwork, having empathy and generosity – and our strengths play well in the workforce.
  • Happy female engineers realize that they can’t do it all by themselves. They prioritize and delegate without feeling guilty.
  • There are JOB OPPORTUNITIES for women in engineering!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of women in the labor force will increase 9% in the next decade. We want them to know that they can succeed in engineering and engineering needs them.

When will we bring about the change? When will women be drawn to the engineering world?

When? Now.

The time is now for women in engineering, or as I like to think of it, Wengineering.

Let’s wengineer the future of this industry.