2018 Women in Engineering Empowerment Essay – Elisabeth Perreault

I think about a lot of solutions to improve representation of women in STEM fields. Indeed, I believe that it will be solved, step by step,by a better understanding of the origins of the problem and by adapting his solutions to them. In my humble opinion, I think it’s a societal problem. For example, before I asked questions about engineering, I always thought that to be a woman in this field, you had to be a little tomboy when you were a child and prefer the construction miniature bridges or rockets instead of Barbie.

Through my conversation with other young women in engineering studies, I realized that I was not the only one who felt this way. So that’s why I had the idea that it would be nice to organize a conference given by 4 people, 2 women and 2 men. I want this conference to show that anybody can go in sciences, even them without the typical profile for it. This conference would be given during class hours, at the beginning of the last year of high school. I think it would be important to choose speakers adapted to each sector. For example, if the high school is in a disadvantaged neighborhood, choose people from the same background. In addition, I would like the team to consist of 4 people from different scientific area. I would like the conference to begin by giving a survey to the class about their vision of the place of men and women in sciences.

Subsequently, speakers could explain the reasons of their choice of career. I find this part very important, because the teenagers themselves will be in the process of making their choice of higher education and will be able to better identify themselves with the stories of the speakers. Then, the speakers could summarize their academic and professional background. Then, the female speakers could talk about the difficulties they have encountered as women in science and the ways they have taken to overcome them. The male speakers could do the same, but they could talk about the difficulties they have encountered as men in science. Then there will be a question period. The conference could close by the same poll given at the beginning of this one. The purpose of passing the survey twice is to see if the conference has changed the perception of teenagers about the place of women and men in sciences. Plus, I believe this conference will be just as beneficial to the present as it is to the future. Indeed, the male speakers will have the opportunity to understand the difficulties that their female colleagues had to overcome in comparison to theirs. I believe that the collected data will be a valuable aid for the understanding of the roots of the problem and will guide the way for additional solutions.