• Question: why should there be more girls becoming engineers

    Asked by Kerryn.x to Victoria, Alex, Chris, Mohamed, Rik on 8 Mar 2015. This question was also asked by Matt, Bronwyn, Leila :).
    • Photo: Victoria Sharpe

      Victoria Sharpe answered on 8 Mar 2015:

      I guess the question is not why should there be more girls – it is why don’t more consider it an option?
      Whether your male or female and have a natural bent for maths and physics -engineering is a great career. You can use your skills into improving the everyday life of those around you, you are never pigeon holed, there is always another challenge out there. Day to day, the job is never the same -and lets face it, women are great at multi-tasking so jumping from problem to problem comes naturally to us!
      When I chose engineering as a career, I never really considered the lack of females as a reason for or against my choice. I felt that at A-level, maths was becoming more about letters than numbers and physics was more about theories of how the universe began. I wanted to use my skills to do something more tangible.
      According to the figures there is still only about 10% of us who are female. There is actually no real factual reason for this – I think its all about how girls are swayed by those around them – peers, teachers and parents. I’m sure if the advice was just choose the subjects you’re good at and enjoy – there would be more of us. The image that in order to be an engineer you need to be able to fix your car and enjoy welding in your weekends is not a necessary requirement, an engineer needs to be able to apply their knowledge to all sorts of problems and remember that 50% of customers who buy the end products will be female, so if you want all laptops to be pink(rather than boring grey) – you need to be in the mix from the start!

    • Photo: Rik Allen

      Rik Allen answered on 11 Mar 2015:

      Because it’s interesting, and a real shame for them to miss out on a career that might suit them best.
      Because there are not enough engineers.
      Because different people find different and better solutions.
      Because us blokes don’t always consider some of the problems that the world needs to be fixed.
      Because I spend too much time talking to men.

      You tell me, why shouldn’t there be more girls in engineering.

      As my daughter says, girls are awesome. She is of course biased.


    • Photo: Alex Shenfield

      Alex Shenfield answered on 12 Mar 2015:

      I couldn’t agree more with what both Rik and Victoria have said.

      I see engineering (specifically electrical and electronic engineering) students every day and it always saddens me that more girls / women don’t choose to become engineers. Any profession needs variety and this is especially important in something like engineering which involves solving problems – different people from different backgrounds have different outlooks and solve problems in different ways.

      Our current head of department is a women, and at my previous job both my line manager and the head of department were women.