Engineers: Why are Only 13% of Them Women?

Flickr user Juhan Sonin

Currently, only 13% of practicing engineers in the United States are women. Logical reasoning should make engineering an appealing job for everyone: Engineers earn above average in the United States, a Mechanical Engineer, for example, has a mean annual salary of $88,190, according to Michigan Tech. So why are women less interested in a career in engineering than men? In general, women earn higher GPAs and credits than their male counterparts in the first semester of college partially because they have higher grades in high school as well, so engineering being too hard can’t be the reason.

The following infographic summarizes what is holding women back from entering the field. While one might think, that stereotypes as in “Engineering is for men” are not present anymore. They are still around and they have a bigger impact than we might realize. Girls feeling themselves at risk of confirming these stereotypes about their social group can have a negative influence on their performance. Resulting in girls having even less self confidence of their capabilities.

Despite all obstacles girls have to face before choosing a study program, 20% of engineering students are women. But then how come only women represent 13% of practicing engineers? Statistics show, that only 2.8% of the students don’t enter the field because of family care. After receiving their diploma, women tend to leave because of discriminating workplace culture or poor working conditions.

What does this tell us? That girls and young women need support. By raising awareness and sharing good experiences. We can all contribute to helping the future generations of female engineers have an easier path to engineering.

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