The Outlook For Girls In Engineering And Mathematics

2201 words - 9 pages

areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics employers are not getting enough women (Pozniak). High school girls only represent 17 percent of computer science Advance Placement (AP) test takers (O'Shea). The most significant group of minorities who are behind in earning computer technology degrees and working in science and mathematical professions are women. “Historically, women’s low representation in science and engineering was said to be due in large part of their lack of ability, interest, or both” (Horning 30). However, this is no longer a true fact according to Ward. Some suggestions to increasing the amount of women in sciences include introducing already present women faculty as mentors. Over the last three decades, women have become interested in almost every industry and occupation, but are not succeeding in receiving a degree in their new field of interest. Women earn about twenty-seven percent of mathematics and science degrees (AAUW). The need for faculty members in mathematics and science is greatest for women. It is proven that women and minorities who earn these degrees are paid less and advance more slowly than men.
Not only are women a minority in engineering, but also so are women of other races. Sixty-five percent of women who are in the workforce are white (National Science Foundation). The total amount of women, including all races, makes up only 1 percent of the work force. Other races of women engineers include Asian, African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian. The percentages of these women in engineering averaged around 8 percent of total women. Studies have shown that culture and availability of schooling can affect the amount of women in engineering. Being outnumbered in the engineering field brings a threat to women and lowers their desire to participate in engineering settings (Lackland and De Lisi).
Xie states that women with children have a much smaller chance to pursue a career in engineering. These women are less likely to receive a promotion. Gender roles in society demand more of women in raising children. Differences in marriage and social life can be held responsible for most of the difficulty that is placed on women in engineering.
Interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is thinning for women as they progress into higher levels. Women in grades 7-12 were surveyed to see if their interest in STEM fields were diminishing. According to Van Leuvan, this survey showed that there was a decline in interest as these girls progress through high school. Throughout middle school and junior high a love for mathematics can be developed. However, a loss of interest is present as soon as girls hit more demanding classes like calculus. Grades will highly diminished and a fear for comprehension of mathematics in the future will develope. According to the article “Women and Minorities in Engineering” a major outlook on success from students is their ability to understand...

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