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A Few Myths About Women in Engineering

It is okay to think that engineering is more suitable for men, especially because men are considered to be stronger, more enduring and good-tempered than women. Therefore, men have been outnumbering women in engineering professions for years.

However, there has recently appeared a tendency to increase the number of girls who choose engineering programs in many universities. We think it would be useful to consider the myths about women in engineering and see whether they can be objected.

Science is suitable for men only

Such a myth have spread in public that men are certainly better at science than women. Well, some areas of science are important for future engineers. Students, who have chosen a course in engineering and technology, should be aware of the scientific basics and concepts. However, it does not actually mean that only men are capable of learning science and apply it in practice. There have been plenty of situations where women made progress in the spheres of science. For instance, the well-known particle physicist Fabiola Gianotti, an inventor Rachel Zimmerman, or the biochemist and Antarctic researcher Alison Murray.

Men receive high grades more often

If in the past one could believe that men were more likely than women to get high grades in universities, now it is hard to agree with this fact. According to the recent studies in the US and UK, women have enhanced their academic performance and show more skills while studying than men. What is more, in 2016, statistics showed that women have outnumbered men in many subject areas, especially in engineering.

Women cannot develop technical skills

Most people believe that men are prone to have and use technical skills, while women at the same time boast soft skills only. There are several arguments to dispel this widespread myth. Firstly, although in the light of traditions and culture men choose science or technical subjects, women have never lost their interest in these fields of study. Secondly, the talent has no gender: both men and women can excel in engineering. Also, to be a successful engineer, a person must have many skills apart from just technical ones: you need to be a sociable and polite person, improve your creativity and adaptability, practice working in a team and focus on self-development.

Less money for women in engineering

There is a considerable gender pay gap, the importance of which cannot be underestimated. It can be observed not only in technology and engineering but also in a variety of industries. However, there are no reasons to worry because the pay gap is bound to decrease further in STEM careers. There is research prepared by PayScale, which contains information on the gender pay gap in various disciplines. For example, the lowest gap is in architecture and engineering (1.7%), a bit higher in computer science and mathematics (3%). In some other sectors, the gender gap in salary seems to increase: 4% in business and finance, 6% in production, 7.6% in installation, and over 9% in farming. So, such a small difference between men’s and women’s salaries can easily challenge the myth.

Women cannot be good at engineering

Despite the fact that lots of people think only men succeed in engineering, there is a number of women who are well-experienced and prominent technicians. Marissa Mayer is a chief executive officer of Yahoo!, with both bachelor’s and master’s degree in artificial intelligence. Also, Ginni Rometty works as CEO of IBM and studied electrical engineering and computer technology. These and more examples prove that women can obtain well-paid technical positions in different companies.

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