In the past, men were considered as the family providers leaving the women to take responsibility over most household and domestic tasks. For the most part, women settled into their performative roles and did what society expected of them. They were expected to primarily take charge over chores such as cooking, cleaning and child care while the men went to work to financially support their family. For a long time, this reinforced the man’s traditional position as the head of the family. Recently, women have fought to earn better education as well as their place in the workforce opening doors to multiple fields for future generations of females to choose from. Although society has progressed to lessen segregation of women in certain occupations, there is still a clear gender gap of females and males in engineering to technology programs.
After doing some research, I found out that there were multiple reasons for the lack of female presence in engineering or technology programs. Despite the advances made in recent years, women are still less likely to choose a career in areas such as; engineering, mathematics and computer science. This stands in contrast to nearly all other fields of study, where women now represent the vast majority of graduates, for instance, in health and social science programs. One of the main reasons for the lack of female interest in these kinds of programs is the fact that society has been socially biased deeming these fields as masculine and underestimating the aptitudes and abilities of girls. Society has made a prejudice against women in science fields as less competent than men unless they exceed expectations. These stereotypes planted in our brains by societal norms are not only false but they also create a negative impact by putting limits of girl’s aspirations and by affecting the motivation and willingness of women to continue their education in technology or engineering programs since they tend to get discouraged quicker. Another reason women show a lack of interest in these fields ,because sexism is still heavily present in engineering or technology related jobs. Women work just as hard as men but get paid less , are often looked down upon and rarely get recognition for their achievements. All in all, science and technology fields are less appealing to women because professional success has been masculinized setting a tough standard for women to reach and because they aren’t treated with equity.
Although the gender gap within technology and engineering programs is quite big, there are solutions that can encourage women to gain interest in these fields. For instance, in Montreal, Concordia University’s “Women In Engineering ” student group visits high schools and colleges to join engineering programs by talking about their fields or job and bringing awareness to younger women and encouraging them to join engineering programs. “Women In Engineering” gives younger generations of females a role model to look up to or aspire to become. Not only that but it also sends the message that women can do anything just as well as men can despite the common belief that girls are inferior to men when it comes to math and science related work fields. McGill University has a similar organization that also aims to bring awareness to younger women called “POWE”. ETS even offers “ETS Scholarships for Women in Engineering ” to encourage women to continue their education in engineering. To sum it up, schools have been coming up with ways to gain for women in engineering and technology programs by exposing young women to the idea and by assuring that their education is paid for.
4 Main Reasons Why There Is a Lack of Women in STEM, Vitor Silva, 4/29/19, https://www.builtbyme.com/lack-of-women-in-stem-reasons/
Why are there so few women in STEM?, WGU, July 1 2019, https://www.wgu.edu/blog/why-are-there-so-few-women-in-stem1907.html
Female engineering students work to be the role models they didn’t have, CBC, Elysha Enos, March 8 2017, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/stem-gender-women-science-quebec-1.4013958
Promoting Opportunities for Women in Engineering, McGill, https://www.mcgill.ca/engineering/students/undergraduate/student-life/powe
WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AWARDS, ÉTS, https://www.etsmtl.ca/en/ETS/Bourses/Women-in-engineering-awards