2018 Women in Engineering Empowerment Essay – Purandare, Snehal Jayvant

According to research it is observed that representation of women in STEM (Science Technology engineering and mathematics) field is less as compared to Men.  I being a mechanical Engineer have felt the same at every step during my undergraduate studies as well as graduate studies. We were 4 girls in class of 60. Engineering is the most male-dominated field in STEM. It may perhaps be the most male-dominated profession in the U.S., with women making up only   13 % of the engineering workforce. There are many reasons of girls or women not being in STEM field. I would like to enlighten about representation of women in Mechanical engineering field. There are misconceptions about mechanical engineering that it is not women’s field, hands become dirty and greasy, one must stand throughout and work. But truth is that lubricants and grease are only a small part of the vast scope of the mechanical engineering work. This old-fashioned thinking is propagated naturally without stop, which is the reason there are lesser women signing up for a mechanical engineering degree. My inquisitiveness about working of machines and car lead me to be Mechanical Engineer, it might not be same for all the girls, but girls can be motivated from school days itself as they are easily moldable during school. We can conduct many science projects and keep rewards for those projects will be motivating. School where I studied was only girls’ school and there were many posters of women inventors which were posted on wall which always motivated me thinking ” If she can then why can’t I?”. These posters will help young students to get motivated and go in STEM field.

           When I started Master’s in mechanical engineering in US, even I had feeling where I might have to work in male dominated environment, I might get paid less as compared to men. Industry as well as government need to understand that women are equally good as men in every field, I must always give answer to an interview question of why I have chosen mechanical engineering being a girl? Instead industry should motivate us. Era is evolving,it is now not difficult to manage career as well as home for girls. Conferences like Grace hopper or Society of women engineers are doing a great job of funding many women in STEM field, but according to me such organizations should be available in every city of USA where girls can participate and get motivated. Women need to understand that being in STEM field creates social impact just like it is created in nontraditional field. It is fun, exciting and women can do that.

Every school should have some teachers who can motivate and guide girls to go in STEM field. This can change the whole approach tremendously.

Attracting and retaining more women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce will maximize innovation, creativity, and competitiveness. It is not impossible,it is achievable if we keep our right approach.