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Tag: Engineering

Women in STEM

I firmly believe that the gender gap between males and females in STEM-related disciplines is mainly caused by societal upbringing, not by biological differences. At the same time however, I think that our world today is coming around to make math, engineering, and science more accesible and welcoming to females through programs and initiatives, much more than even just ten years ago.

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Sacrifices in Engineering

For decades, society was under the impression that technological and engineering innovations were thought to be “male territory” only. In today’s world, women working in the engineering business have people like Amy Bix to thank for that. Bit was an engineer in the early 20th century, and in her piece, “From “Engineeresses” to “Girl Engineers” to “Good Engineers”: A History of Women’s U.S. Engineering Education”, she depicts the struggles and oppression experienced by women in the workplace, particularly as engineers. Bix was an extraordinary women with passion and conviction, and with that, was able to “To improve the climate for women in education and employment, activists organized to call attention to problems and demanded change. To aid women directly, female engineers created systems of social, psychological, and financial mutual support”. Bix was entirely aware of her surroundings; she had a complete understanding of where women were ranked in the workplace, and knew what was necessary in order to move them up. She was organized and efficient as she knew she would need to fight tirelessly to end such a popular stigma: that women did not belong in the engineering workplace. This was made evident constantly: “Engineering education in the United States has had a gendered history, one that until relatively recently prevented women from finding a place in the predominantly male technical world”. Masculinity was something women were not able to escape in the late 20th century, but women like BIx were able to have influence: “women studying or working in engineering were popularly perceived as oddities at best, outcasts at worst, defying traditional gender norms…activists fought to change that situation, to win acknowledgment of women’s ability to become good engineers”. Bix was fighting an uphill battle; gaining proportional representation in the workforce of engineering was long down the road, and nevertheless, Bix “undertook conscious, passionate campaigns to break down institutional barriers”. It is because of women like Bix that “In 1979, women made up 12.1 percent of undergraduates enrolled in engineering across the United States; by 1998, that percentage had gradually risen to 19.7 percent”. Slowly but surely women were able to work their way up in the workforce of technology and engineering in the late 20th century. We are fortunate to have women like Amy Bix to thank for her dedication and sacrifices that have significantly bettered the world we live in today.

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