The very day we started college it struck all of us guy engineers.  As we walked into our first class surrounded by oil stained hands and stone temple pilot t-shirts we asked ourselves: Why are there mostly men?

 

Then we got our first job designing plastic electronic module boxes and we were shocked that amidst the faded cube walls, the engineering department had an even smaller percentage of women.

Why do women shun engineering?
Do you think this individual fantasizes about becoming a successful EMC test engineer?

I discussed this with an old professor friend of mine who has been teaching mathematics at University for close to 40 years and he observed that while at university, his female students tended to get better grades than their male counterparts. However there was a fundamental shift in attitude after graduation: Perhaps men are more motivated by the prospect of making more money and the boasting rights of inventing the next coolest gadget, and are ready to work harder for it. So after graduation there's a general motivational inversion that leads men to be more "successful." Of course, the choice of the word "successful" might be relative to your sex  and perhaps if I was a 'Paula' Bearing, I'd be writing how women are more "successful" because they are much better at standardizing work, following procedures and ensuring that the workday ends precisely at 4:30 just in time to pick up the kids from daycare, cook dinner, put the kids in bed and have some quality time talking dining room color schemes with the husband. Many women who enter engineering don't see the fun of getting a call at 4pm from an angry customer who demands that they drop everything  because one of the modules is deactivating when the horn is honked. Being the top engineer who is most gifted at figuring out issues with conducted emissions from a horn is not perceived as "success" to an average women engineer. On the other hand, a male engineer would find immense honor at being the customer's chosen one to "drop everything,  panic and fix this issue." While in public, the engineer will curse his job and swear, in reality he would secretly much rather be honking horns all night long than lazing around on the couch watching the dicovery channel.

I will end this blog post with a picture. Obviously, it's fake, but just in case you need help, here's why:

1) The chance of 3 good looking female engineering and 2 well kempt male engineers all in the same firm is as likely as Sara Palin joining PETA.
2) If all the engineers are smiling and wearing suits, it's probably because they have an interview for a new job later on in the day.
3) And why are they sitting so close together? Real engineers don't soap their armpits. This cannot be real.
4) What's up with the white blouse? Engineers eat their lunches alone at their desks and quickly learn that brown is the optimal color to hide salsa stains. Perhaps she's an intern.
5) And Ties? Have you ever tried soldering on a 0402 resistor with a tie on? 

 

 



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