engineering and women

290 views 6 pages ~ 1504 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

The planet is rapidly becoming a global village, with new inventions developing on a daily basis, necessitating a massive workforce in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. However, gender equality in these industries is unfair and discriminatory because men outnumber women. Despite the fact that their numbers are growing, they are nevertheless outnumbered by their male counterparts and, unlike the men who control the executive seats, prefer to hold subordinate roles. Engineering and scientific careers are male-dominated, with no female participation, raising the question of why the number of female engineers and scientists remains limited (Pollack). An answer to this question points us to two broad categories, the social and environmental factors which are preventing women from pursuing engineering and science as professions.

Although the field of engineering has not been particularly hospitable to women, a good number has beaten the odds and pursued this field of study successfully, eventually landing in prestigious engineering positions. As such, there are numerous women engineers who have leadership positions and are also pioneers in the field of science in many ways. The value of women in engineering and sciences is largely felt in the advantage of diversity in teams. Teams that incorporate women are capable of showing more creativity than homogenous teams. Simply put, women have the capacity to initiate creativity and innovation in engineering and other sciences which is why companies break tradition by increasing the number of women scientists. Gender diversity in engineering and sciences is essential and the role of women cannot be overemphasized. Their inclusion not only improves creativity in a team but also improves the desirability of the products provided that mutual respect exists in the heterogeneous teams (Bankston).

The Social Factors

Stereotypes surround the field of engineering and science where females are portrayed as the weaker sex, and the male as superior. They are often viewed as incapable of performing specific tasks which makes them be given subordinate position such as secretaries and messengers. When a woman who is highly educated and qualified in engineering is not appreciated for what she can do, she is discouraged from continuing in the same profession. The high attrition rates by female engineers are majorly based on discouragement leading to their low participation in engineering. In schools, young girls are often discouraged by their male teacher from pursuing sciences citing that they cannot perform as much as boys do (Dasgupta and Stout 22). It, therefore, inhibits them and they grow up knowing sciences can only be done by the males because they are more capable and not females. When teachers continuously tease girls about their inability to succeed in physics, there are higher chances of them dropping the subjects.

Women are also tied and held up with other social responsibilities and roles including child care and family life. Juggling between a demanding career of engineering and a scientist and being a mother becomes stressful to them making them abandon the profession in the middle. For the women who can manage the double roles, the working environment does not provide her with the necessary support such as inflexible rules and regulations. The lack of maternity leave and the long and tiresome schedule in the profession is also a contributing factor making women participation in engineering low.

When women take a break from the profession due to caregiving roles, their re-entry into it is further hindered thus discouraging most of them. It is because, during their absence, their connection with the professional community becomes weak significantly making her feel like an outsider as the rest have advanced (Schwartz). The time spent away also makes them forget some essential skills hence a need for retraining, failure to which, many women lose their self-confidence and pursuing this career is at this moment discouraged.

There are also fewer female engineers who can act as role models for the young girls pursuing the career. The successful female engineers and scientists who can be role models are also struggling to remain at the top because their male colleagues are trying to pull them down (Jarreau). As a result, the young aspiring female scientists, develop an impression that science and engineering are for males only. With a little number of women in engineering and sciences classes, it is inevitable that there will be even fewer women scientists and engineers.

The Environmental Factor

In engineering and scientific workplaces, the women are often disadvantaged right from the time they send their applications. In the process of hiring engineers, men are most often picked, and the women left out which makes them be few in the profession. It is because men are mostly considered to be more reliable than their female counterparts even if the female is more qualified. Such institutions believe that the women are more oriented to managing people, therefore, can apply their skill in helping people. The men, on the other hand, are considered to be able to use their skills to make and develop non-living objects (Bankston).

Discrimination against women is evident in meetings and other vital functions such that they are rarely given a chance to present their concerns and contributions. In case a woman becomes persistent and aggressive, she is considered a threat to her male colleagues, increasing her chances of being fired. The competition for success in engineering, therefore, makes more women prefer not to venture in them arguing that its frequency makes one weary and tiresome. The evident unequal remuneration of female engineers further lowers their participation in the field of engineering. Female engineers are less paid compared to their male colleagues creating an unfavorable environment for them to work in and earn a decent living for themselves. The kind of recommendation letters that females receive portray their practical clinical skills, teaching skills and their attributes leaving behind professional abilities and qualifications (Dasgupta and Stout 24). They are therefore unable to get promotions or other awards, which are essential factors in motivating employees. It thus creates a situation where to be a successful female engineer or scientist; it will require one to give more evidence to prove your capabilities.

The fact that engineering and science are highly dominated by the male gender, the likelihood of the female to feel excluded and isolated tend to be high. Women would often feel left out in formal or informal social gatherings which makes them feel unwanted in the group. They are also unable to develop a healthy collaboration and cooperation with colleagues hence lacking professional mentorship. The result is, therefore, leaving the profession and joining another one which she considers suitable and appropriate. A contributing factor being the feeling of underdevelopment and lack of motivation and lack of a sense of belonging. Women are also seen as mother figures in the offices who are just supposed to serve the male tea or as having problems with their personality (Pollack). It, therefore, makes being an engineer a living nightmare for them, such that instead of being happy with the profession, they are regretting why they specialized in it.

Being a female scientist researching the field comes with its set of challenges too. Women scientist are often considered to be vulnerable always requiring help from the male coworkers which lowers their confidence. Women usually perform such roles as budgeting for research, organizational functions and facilitating a program and excluded in conducting the actual study (Bankston). As a result, the working environment is not conducive to her excellence and self-development


In the field of engineering and science, women get few opportunities to explore their abilities compared to the men. It, therefore, creates a huge gap in the representation and participation of both genders in the profession. The high rates of stereotyping and prejudice in these careers are the main obstacles hindering women from participating as they bring about discrimination. Stereotyping women on what they can or cannot do dramatically affects their performance in the field of science and engineering. When young girls are discouraged from undertaking science and math classes, they will not pursue careers in related areas hence fewer women engineer and scientists. Female engineers and scientists have to struggle most of the time to retain their position in their workplaces and to act as role models to the young females. The struggles often lead to psychological and emotional fatigue leaving most of them with no option but to move out of the profession.

Works Cited

Bankston, Adriana. "Women in STEM: Still So Few and Far Between." 22 July 2016. ASCB. 01 December 2017.

Jarreau, Paige Brown. "Being Female in Science." 08 March 2016. From The Lab Bench . 01 December 2017.

Nilanjana, Dasgupta and Jane G. Stout. "Girls and Women in Science, Technology, ." SAGE (2014): 21-29.

Pollack, Eileen. "Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?" 03 October 2013. The Newyork Times Magazine. 01 December 2017.

Schwartz, Zane. "Why there are still far too few women in STEM." 21 April 2015. Macleans. 01 December 2017.

December 08, 2022

Psychology Sociology

Subject area:

Bias Engineering Gender

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Gender
Verified writer

MichaelR is one of the best writers in my opinion who is not only skilled as a writer but a great explainer. He has helped me nail down my Psychology task. A great person I shall approach again!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro

Similar Categories