Why it’s awesome to be a female engineer
“What? You went for civil engineering at Delft University of Technology? That’s a great accomplishment for a girl!”
If I could only get a euro every time people said this to me since I started university, I would have collected the annual college tuition without having a job. Even though the undertone of the statement is not of the most friendly kind, there is some truth to the matter that females are a minority in engineering (for now).
About 20% of the worldwide engineering student population is female. However only 13% of the engineering professions in the work field are occupied by women. Research numbers from MIT indicate that the women that actually graduate from engineering tend to leave the sector a few years into their careers. One of the reasons is that the negative group dynamics women tend to experience during team-based work projects makes the profession less appealing.
This definitely does not have to be the case and we’re living proof of that. In our humble opinion: Who run the world? GIRLS! That’s why we think it is crucial females should also be represented in the engineering profession. Because we think it’s important that the engineering profession attracts more awesome chicks, we would like to encourage girls to consider going to engineering school. Here are ten reasons why being a female engineer is awesome:
- Meeting new people and telling about your profession always brings the surprise effect, without fail. It is a guaranteed icebreaker.
- You can change the motor oil and coolant in your car, without the help of your (male) significant other. You might need the help of your fellow engineer (girl)friends though.
- Personal branding in the workplace is so much easier, as it is still rare to be a female and also an engineer.
- Engineering school is an awesome place to start friendships, even though you’ll mainly make guy friends, the girls you meet are almost instant friends as you share a lot of the same interests.
- Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma even says that the high percentage of female engineers in his company are the “secret sauce to the companies’ success”. With 34% being female in the company, it puts the rest of Silicon Valley to shame when it comes to diversity.
- Not that it should be an objective, but it doesn’t hurt either that engineering jobs are generally well paid. It definitely helps when you’re saving for a designer work bag (yes, we really need that). And for me, getting paid to do construction site visits is like a dream. Construction sites have always been a personal fascination, the fact that I actually get paid to visit them is still mind blowing.
- Engineering is a lot of fun, diverse, and it has plenty of room for creativity. The coolest thing is, you are actually able to put your creative ideas into action, since you’ve learned how to.
- The look on people’s faces when they realize you’ve beaten the stereotype is always priceless. Yes, you can love shoes and bridges equally.
- Since you’re surrounded by a majority of men, you shamelessly get to stare at them. A bit of man candy never hurt anyone.
- There’s nothing better than fixing a problem whilst saying “Trust me, I’m an engineer”.
If you’re not convinced by now, here are some of the statements male engineers made on females in the field when I asked them how they felt about the matter:
“Men just think a certain way; therefore, female thought of reason brings a diversity to the group that is very useful.” – Niels Hoogeveen (@nielshoogeveen)
“To be honest I’ve never made a distinction between men and women, in engineering or outside that. But because of the minority, it is awesome when girls can manoeuvre their way in engineering and compete with all the guys” – Ryan Cheung (@rymen8)
“Off course female engineers are awesome, engineers are considered the smart kids on the planet. Smart and good looking women are super attractive.” – Hensley Djoe (@henzzlee)
“I only date female engineers, because they are:
- Independent and not clingy, they know how to rationalize situations
- Self-sufficient, they don’t rely on you for money because of their rain making jobs
- Intelligent, I like to have real talk at times” – John Mase (@john.mase)
“I like women who know what they are actually talking about.” – Lee Zhang (@1ee.zhang)
“Female engineers are sexy.” – Kien Nguyen (@phuckiennguyen)
Off course these statements need to be taken with a grain of salt, but nevertheless more than enough reason for women to at least consider engineering. As Sheryl Sandberg writes in her book Lean In: “Real change will come when powerful women are less of an exception.” Let us know in the comments how you would like to see this happen.