Essay on Mechanical Engineering Problems

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With Mechanical Engineering being known as a manly career field not a lot of women feel that that career is something they would like to do. There are about 20 percent of undergraduate engineering degrees are awarded to women, but there are only 13 percent of the engineering workforce is female. Germany is beating the US by 6% of females in this career field. College University should try to push females to be in mechanical engineering because with most companies wanting to be diverse it's more likely for girls to be successful in the career field. Girls feel that mechanical is a men’s line of work, that why the percentage of females in this field is low. It may perhaps be the most male-dominated profession in the U.S., with 14 percent of mechanical engineers being females and the U.S. contributing 5.8 percent of that 14. Without a major female mechanical engineer role model there is no inspiration for other females. (p.1) Women who go to college intending to become engineers stay in the profession less often than men. The number of females that start off in the field is much larger than the percentage of women that go all the way through because women switch their major because they don't believe that their skills are good enough and they don't feel like they fit in engineering based off the stereotype that is held against mechanical engineers.

There are lot of dirt, oil, and loud noises from the machinery, and apart from that the factories have a high risk related to injury/death because of the high-pressure equipment and electrical equipment. Many girls rather work in offices than in such conditions whereas boys on the other hand wouldn't mind the grime so much. The stereotype that links masculinity to the engineering field is unfortunately that people believe the stereotype that girls and women are not as good as boys and men in math and science, yet these stereotypes are still hard to overcome worldwide. Although universities and high schools are working together to push more female students to explore engineering, with schools pushing the issue the industries also need to step up and do more even if it's offering more female jobs to show that the field wants to be more diverse.

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The misconceptions about mechanical engineering go back to our early school years. Men and women receive different career advice at school, according to a 2014 City & Guilds survey of 2000 young professionals. The top 3 career choices recommended to girls are nursing & care, teaching, and medicine, for boys the top 3 are IT, engineering, and finance. Engineering is seen as more brawn than the brain and is as much sexist towards women as it is towards men. It’s a proven fact that females who take the courses or try to pursue their dream of being a mechanical engineer are in the top ten percent, grades-wise because females are known to be smarter than males.

Role models are key in gender diversity especially in tech & engineering In addition, just a few female role models are working in the mechanical engineering field. According to studies by Microsoft, many girls and young women have a hard time seeing themselves in mechanical engineering roles and that do not have a female role model in the field to inspire them to pursue that career. The study found that girls who know a woman in a STEM profession were 17 percent more likely to feel empowered when they engage in STEM activities than those who don’t know a woman in a STEM profession. males dominate the workplace, and some employers don’t actively seek female candidates. With the few females that are in the field, they feel that their voices aren’t getting heard in a male-dominated workplace. With more exposure to positive role models, young girls could find women that they can relate to and aspire to be. Mariana Bontempo is a female engineer and she thinks to get more females to join the field is to promote career discovery programs for young female students that allow them to explore their potential, curiosity, and passion for innovation. Mariana believes by creating different scenarios and interesting workplaces like simulations for girls where they can explore the technology interactively and insightfully such as workshops in robotics, mechanics, and coding it is possible to give them practical knowledge and understanding of the impact that they can have being part of the field, they won’t think twice about joining mechanical engineering.

In the United Kingdom, their primary engineering has extended to early years engineering program, which targets children as young as three years old. The United Kingdom feels like if u introduce something to a girl several times before they have to make a choice, they will pick something that they know of and not something they don’t have a clue about. This is probably why the United States only consists of 4.8 of the 14 percent of women that are engineers in the world because I’m one hundred percent sure that no one was talking to kids in America about being an engineer when we get older. By talking to kids while they are young we set a light in a kid's heads about all the cool things engineers do and will make all the kids want to be engineers boys and girls.

The shortage in engineering is now recognized. Projects and daily activities are being changed a tad bit to put engineering into schools to show creativity and industry-like workplace to enhance the image of engineering to young children and particularly to girls. With UTEP being engineering I think they should push more to the local high schools and middle schools about studying and pursuing to be an engineer since they have a lot of kids visiting the college weekly. With UTEP helping with recruiting girls and females to the engineering field and it has any type of toll on the number of females to join the field at UTEP maybe the other universities in the country will follow UTEP’s lead and that should change that 4.8 percent to at least 8 percent in the next four years. Hope is still out there as mentalities change and misconceptions are being ironed out. Whenever Utep faces aspiring engineering students, they should take extra care of them and communicate with them to give them specific insight into what mechanical engineering is and get rid of the “oily rag” misconception as much as possible.

After considering some of the misconceptions, most girls develop an idea of what mechanical engineering is. There are the remaining few who think beyond the limits, but they are forced to drop out because of peer pressure and based on the misconception they heard of. After this filtering, if any girls are still left in the set, then they will join mechanical engineering. So, there are few or no girls in a mechanical engineering class. But with females thinking of mechanical engineering as a men’s career field, people need to change their mindset. Mechanical is not just confined to boys anymore. Girls have great potential in the engineering field too. Girls are becoming pilots, army officers even astronauts. How difficult can it be to be a Mechanical Engineering?

I like this quote “I believe engineering skills and talents are gender neutral. I want to see an end to the idea that a woman is hired into an engineering role because of her gender and not her talent. That is why I support the Women & Engineering Program.” - Michele Liebman BS ’86. There are a lot of companies in the world that try to hire females to have some type of diversity in their company and not based on their abilities and attributes that they can bring to the company.

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