An Open Call For More Women Engineers
Most people have heard of the gender gap and are aware that men are more likely to lead companies, especially those in the science, math, and engineering industries. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for women to make an impact in the field and in the world around them. In fact, it makes good sense for females to pursue careers in engineering, and in the past decade, companies have made strides to launch an open call for more women engineers. The good news is, it’s just the beginning! There are many reasons for women to pursue an education in the sciences consider a career in engineering:
You have an incredible opening to bring a unique perspective to your field, industry, and company. In the United States, only 14 percent of engineers are women. Believe it or not, that’s a dramatic increase from 1980s, where that figure was only 5.8 percent. Around the world the statistics are also moving in favour of more women in the engineering field. Women bring a unique set of perspectives and ideas to the industry and any team is stronger with a bigger range of skills and new ideas.
There are tangible and practical opportunities to improve others’ lives. Who says you have to spend your years coding in front of a computer in a dimly lit room or conducting endless simulations in a laboratory? Organisations like Engineers Without Borders provide roles that allow female engineers to develop as leaders, designers, builders, and role models for the next generation of women engineers.
Serve as a role model. You may always have had interest in mentoring someone or helping to develop the next generation. There’s no better way to do so than pursuing a challenging career and setting a great example for those in your community. The more successful females are working as engineers, the more likely it is that young women may envision themselves in similar roles. By disrupting the current status quo now, the next generation of female engineers will be able to take on better roles and address new challenges.
Build confidence and break stereotypes by delivering results. Because engineering is a practical occupation by nature, women can leave a real legacy in whatever way you want. Perhaps it’s working with educators to encourage young women to enter the field. Or it’s pioneering a new technology that helps other women. Or maybe you’re going to solve a problem that has long-stumped others. That’s the plus of entering a field that has long been populated by men. Experiencing great professional success can help to build your portfolio, increase your sense of self-confidence, and have a long-term impact on your life.
You can be assured there is plenty of job security. Yes, some of the job security will be because as a woman, you are a minority in a male-dominated field, but the bigger picture is that there is a growing need for engineers in society and there is a shortage of qualified professionals. The skills you can offer as an engineer will always be needed and you can be rest assured that there will be a job for you throughout your career.
Engineers have incredible growth potential. Should you decide to leave the field after establishing yourself, there are many opportunities at your fingertips. Some engineers pursue graduate business degrees and settle in highly quantitative roles. Other search for management opportunities. No matter what you choose to do, the only limits that exist are the ones you set for yourself.
Engineers are generally well paid. You don’t have to go very far to find an engineering role at the top of a salary list. Sure, money isn’t everything, but being well compensated for your work certainly helps to make you feel valued and enjoy life a little more.
It may seem daunting to be a female in the traditionally masculine field of engineering, but that doesn’t mean you have to pursue a role that is personally uninteresting or too intimidating. Keep in mind that there are many types of engineering and many permutations, depending on the industry. Women can play an incredible role in changing and bettering the lives of others, just by applying their skillsets and knowledge.