It can be difficult for anyone to decide what their career path should be, especially when there is now so much choice. And it can be truly hard to know if you are making the right decision and whether you will be happy in the long run, so there is plenty to consider when going into education or changing the route to your future.
There will be different careers that you will not have thought about before, let alone found out much about, which is why it is important to know all of your options, especially in fields that may have not been overtly advertised to women in the past, and are not always in the present, either.
The engineering industry has nominally been dominated by men for centuries. It can be not only a somewhat difficult systematic barrier to break, but it also creates the illusion that engineering is not for everyone, and that simply isn’t true. Regardless of gender, engineering is an excellent career path for everyone who is interested.
In a world that is slowly but surely becoming less rigid with repressive ideals, women have more opportunity than ever to embrace their skill sets, curiosities, interests, and pursue their chosen career paths in relative peace, which is why it is the perfect time to consider a qualification in engineering.
With that in mind, this article will take a look at why women should enter the engineering field, what they can offer, and what the career path can give back to them.
What is Engineering?
The idea of engineering has certainly changed over time, but the fundamental principles are the same—it is an application of science using the ‘optimum conversion’ of the resources that nature offers us to create some of the most useful tools and technologies in the world. There are many different areas of engineering, though all of them use scientific rules to design and develop products and structures.
Machines and manufacturing processes are just one of the many common sectors of engineering that might be well known, whereas others, such as building and structure design, computer technology, development of military weapons, and water supplies are all different sectors that can be related right back to engineering.
“Women are still a minority in the field and this needs to change.”
You Are in Demand
Women are actually in demand when it comes to the field of engineering. We are seeing a transformation in the workplace which is looking to lessen the gap between men and women in the field. Women can bring in different perspectives and unique insights into the field, and as a minority, they are highly sought after and valued for what they can bring to the table.
A large number of studies have shown that men and women have different approaches to solving complex issues and creating solutions, which means that the shift in gender in the workplace can only enhance the practice of engineering on the whole, and therefore help its progress. Not everyone thinks the same, regardless of their sex or gender, but having a wide variety of people from different walks of life can certainly improve and progress any field.
“A well-paid job can give women better financial security.”
Engineers are Paid Well
Women have notoriously been in low-paid jobs for centuries, not forgetting no-paid jobs, too, such as being a housewife. While society still has a way to go in closing the gender pay gap, women are now earning more money than before. The days where women have had to rely on men as their sole income is over and equal opportunity now means that they can earn a decent living.
Engineering is one of those career paths that is extremely well paid. From a decent starting wage, the more experience you have, the more your pay can increase, making it easier to fund the lifestyle you need or want.
“Engineering is great for women who love a challenge.”
Up to the Challenge
Working in engineering offers a rewarding and challenging career. Depending on both your life and career goals, engineering can offer you a steady stream of problem-solving and creativite scenarios. It will not always be plain sailing, and being able to manage issues effectively will definitely work in your favor. However, for those of you who love the day-to-day challenges, being kept engaged, and positions that allow you to be creative, there does not have to be a dull day in engineering!
“Every little thing you do will make a big difference to the world.”
Change the World
Not all heroes wear capes, but they also do not always wear hard hats either! Engineering has come a long way from machines, and will almost definitely continue to evolve to create outstanding pieces of technology. This technology could be for literally anything, such as state-of-the-art medical equipment, new cars, and other essentials that keep us living a full and happy life. When undertaking a career in engineering you are changing the world, one small and big step at a time, and what you do every day will make a difference both immediately and, over time, in the future.
Acquire Transferable Skills
While the industry has been male-dominated, it makes sense that the skills acquired would also be seen as male skills too, but now times are changing, and the opportunity for women to learn these skills in the field is paramount to enriching everyone’s lives. These skills can be strengthened, harnessed, and used in everyday life—therefore creating more opportunities that are not gender-specific.
“Do not get stuck doing the same thing day in day out, do something where you can exercise your brain!”
Increased Learning and Career Opportunities
The route to having a career in engineering is very heavy when it comes to the information you need to know, and the training and education you need to go through. However, for those who love learning, this can only be a positive! The journey might be intense, but it can also be extremely fun and engaging, helping you develop new important and transferable skills as you go, and increasing your chance for opportunities and career progression, which both come with their own varying rewarding benefits. Click here for more information on how an engineering qualification can improve your career prospects.
“Reduce the chance of boredom at work, and keep things interesting.”
Variety at Work
Having our minds stimulated at work is not only good for our wellbeing but also good for our productivity, as being able to work on a project you are interested in will only benefit the end product. There is not much worse than twiddling your thumbs waiting for work to appear, or being bored during your working hours. Not only does it feel like a huge waste of your time, but you could also be spending it in a much more rewarding way. A career in engineering offers women the chance to have a different day every day, so that their job keeps them on their toes, keeps life interesting, and they can keep evolving.
“Engineering is one of the most creative professions you can go into!”
Although ‘creative’ might not be the first word that springs to mind when you think about engineering, it is actually a very important skill and passion to bring to the table. When you think about creative professions, you might think about the arts over science, but it is that innovative and inspiring attitude and mindset that gets the ball rolling—that helps create new ideas, new problem-solving strategies, and can make a company stand out from the rest.
Engineering is one of the most creative professions you can go into, which means there is no need to worry about trying to choose between your creative needs and your logical needs. This balance is an excellent fit for women who want both from their career.
“Raise awareness for the history of women in engineering, change the world in the present, and be role models for the future.”
It is Important for the Future
Why are there not many women in engineering? Well, one of the reasons could very well be the lack of role models, which becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. If we focus on our past engineering ‘greats,’ we are more likely to hear about males such as Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford over females such as Martha J Coston, who helped develop flares; Emily Roebling, who contributed to completing the Brooklyn Bridge; and Edith Clarke, who was the first woman to be professionally employed as an electrical engineer in the United States.
Despite the many incredible creations that women have been a part of and responsible for, there is still a gross misrepresentation of their names, their achievements, and other important information in mainstream media and education. Taking on a role in engineering in the current day and age will forge even more of a path for women in the industry, who in turn, can also create history with their new ideas and achievements.
Disclosure: This article was written by a guest author.