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Some food for thought – and facts – about gender balance, and the working conditions that drive women out of Engineering

Despite the many initiatives aimed at attracting more women to the engineering profession, a recent study has found that it’s the working conditions that are driving women away. 

Of the 30% of female U.S. engineering graduates who worked as engineers but later quit the field, nearly halfsaid they left because of working conditions, too much travel, lack of advancement, or low salaries, according toNadya Fouad and Romila Singh of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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“ Still getting asked if I can handle being in a mostly male work environment in interviews in 2009 – I’ve been an engineer for 9 years, obviously I can. I know when I’m asked that question, I HAVE NO CHANCE AT THE JOB. It is nice they brought me in for equal opportunity survey points but don’t waste my time if you don’t take females seriously.” – Caucasian Industrial Engineering graduate

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Women constitute 20% of U.S. engineering graduates but only 11% of the engineering workforce, the researchers say.  Here in Australia the stats aren’t much different: 14% of engineering graduates are women, and 10% of members of Engineers Australia are women.

women engineers

Is it the same thing that’s holding women back in your profession or industry… or something altogether different?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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