Female engineering student?

  • Thread starter VikFloyd
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  • #26
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For some reason I strengthened up yesterday. I am not scared all that much anymore. Besides, people always say I look unapproachable the first time I meet them or that they think I am going to be mean.

@ Pengwuino That reminds me of the students at my school. Once they fail a test and it is clearly their own fault they blame the professor instead of themselves. I must admit, I have never thought to myself, "Awww I did bad on this test because I'm a girl!" I would assume I did bad on it because I didn't study at all or I didn't study hard enough. Everytime I study, I pass. Everytime I don't study, I fail.

@Angry Citizen Hopefully none of the guys are attractive (which I bet they will be) because I get kind of nervous around cute guys hahahaha
 
  • #27
turbo
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@Angry Citizen Hopefully none of the guys are attractive (which I bet they will be) because I get kind of nervous around cute guys hahahaha
If you are the kind of person to love engineering, you'll probably find even geeky, awkward guys very attractive, even if they aren't "cute". Life is that way.
 
  • #28
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I would think engineering programs would be much better off if more women chose to apply to them. It can be seen as a boys' club sometimes and I think that's only due to the fact that a few decades ago men and women were relegated to specific roles. You could arguably make the same kind of case for male nurses like for women engineers. I think this kind of thinking is propagated by older professors and engineers who studied engineering when these opinions held more sway. I can totally imagine it being a bit unnerving walking into a classroom filled with men and you being the only woman (I've felt that way before in reverse), but despite this hopefully we'll see more women engineers in the future.
 
  • #29
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I say 'go for it'. Sure, there will be male sexism in school, but what I have found out is that it is usually used to cover-up fears of inadequacy on the part of those who make the most bluster. Rarely do the really top students behave in that manner. In fact, they are usually willing to work with you with the attitude that they can gain more by sharing more - - much like the participants on this forum.

The reward, however, is in the workplace. There, the proportion of women has always been relatively low - - probably because of the stereotypes that develop within the schools, (especially grade schools) which then serve to filter out the capable female participants. Most workplaces are so happy to get women as engineers that they'll almost bend over backward for them. And, when the resulting advantages are offered, I say accept them.

This isn't to say that engineers can't be snotty. You'll find the same bad behavior that is found elsewhere - - especially coming from those who feel themselves to be lacking in capability, so beware of the generic a--hole wherever you are.

KLM
 
  • #30
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I like math and science. I am good at math. I really would like to study engineering. My only problem is if I face sexism. I must admit I am very sensitive. I fear coming across mean male classmates who will always say sexist comments about me. If you were/was an engineering student, did you see any of your female classmates getting attacked by sexist comments?

I wouldn't let concerns about sexist comments deter you from entering engineering. If that is what you want to do, go for it.

I don't recall any of my female classmates being specifically attacked for being female. They always did well and were always in the top quarter of the class in terms of marks.

However, if you are worried about getting into some uncomfortable situations around a group of guys, well, that can happen anywhere. It can happen outside of school or work too. For example, maybe you are out with your brother and a group of his friends and they start talking about how hot some girls are or how unhot others are. Those sorts of situations might make you uncomfortable, but they are not specific to school or engineering. (Come to think of it, I have been in some groups of women and their conversations sometimes turned more explicit than the conversations men have.) People talk. It is what they do. Don't base your decisions on such a trivial matter.
 
  • #31
Astronuc
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I am unsure which on to do. I like the idea of nursing and engineering. I am also looking at which one will get me a job the fastest and easiest. I heard engineering is a lot of work. My mother's a nurse so that is kind of encouraging me to go for nursing. I just need to know the pros and cons of each.
Do what you enjoy.

If one wants to studying engineering, then go for it. One should study engineering, because one wants to do so, not because someone else thinks one should.

Math, science and engineering require a lot of work. Actually, competence and mastery in any subject requires effort. To be a competent nurse takes effort.

Their were two women in my nuclear engineering program and others in health physics. All of us students in the program encouraged each other. None of us tolerated sexist nonsense.
I am unsure which on to do. I like the idea of nursing and engineering. I am also looking at which one will get me a job the fastest and easiest. I heard engineering is a lot of work. My mother's a nurse so that is kind of encouraging me to go for nursing. I just need to know the pros and cons of each.
Then consider perhaps, bioengineering.
 
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  • #32
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You need to fix your weak character* and I believe engineering would be best for that!

*you cannot live your whole life making decisions based on what's more comfortable.

I fear coming across mean male classmates who will always say sexist comments about me.
Learn to fight :tongue2:
 
  • #33
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As a female electrical engineer I thought I'd a few words. I graduated with a BS this spring and the only sexism/uncomfortable comments I had to deal with were from a few female non-engineering students (they basically thought I was weird) and from an elderly and conservative male professor who was known for being mean to both male and female students (basically he made a sexist joke in class, which I would have tolerated from a student but coming from a professor I found it inappropriate). I ended up getting a good grade in his class, though.


I don't think you should make your decision on nursing vs. engineering based on the ratio of women in the field, but based on what you think you would enjoy doing for the rest of your life- nursing or engineering.

If it's very important to you to work in a field that has a higher ratio of women, study bioengineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, or environmental engineering. For some reason, the amount of women in these fields are higher than in other engineering fields such as electrical or mechanical. Honestly, when I was in college I didn't mind the scarcity of women in my major, but at my current job, when I'm the only female engineer, I often feel that my coworkers are somewhat uncomfortable dealing with me (they seem to be particularly polite when talking to me, and prefer to direct questions to my male colleague even if I am the one who is more likely to know the answer).

My point is that I think you have a valid concern, but it doesn't justify abandoning the idea of studying engineering if that's what you would truly enjoy. I, for one, have no plans to change careers in the future.
 
  • #34
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I like math and science. I am good at math. I really would like to study engineering. My only problem is if I face sexism. I must admit I am very sensitive. I fear coming across mean male classmates who will always say sexist comments about me. If you were/was an engineering student, did you see any of your female classmates getting attacked by sexist comments?

You may encounter it, but do not let it stop you from doing what you love.
 
  • #35
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As one of two girls in the entire school taking AP physics C this past year, I faced probably - actually, most definitely - what would be considered sexual harassment from some of my male peers. I probably should have stuck up for myself more, but I knew that in most cases they were just trolling and didn't get too offended by what was said to me. I was an easy target, but when they were close to failing and I was making solid As, my grades spoke for themselves.

The most.. interesting.. experience I had during that class was when the guy sitting next to me asked me out in front of about two whole rows of other guys. When they say, "do you want to help me study" and then mention, "at a nice restaurant" or "alone," be careful. Just sayin'


BUT, that was high school and I doubt I will have any problems like this when I go to college in the fall. I am thankful that I was exposed to this in some ways because now I know what to look out for. Just try not to take things personally that aren't meant to be personal - but be ready to stand up for yourself when things are said that are out of line or make you feel uncomfortable.
 
  • #36
turbo
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@OP, do you think that you can handle the emotional demands of nursing? You can spend weeks and weeks calculating the water demands for a cooling system with no emotional baggage. If you have to spend that same time caring for some patients (some of which may be terminally ill), I'd bet that you'd be carrying home some emotional baggage after every shift.
 
  • #37
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Hahahahaha! I'm just a little paranoid. Let's just say high school years were hell for me and some of that is still with me. I am contemplating nursing as well which is another problem. I don't know which one to choose.

From my experience, high school and college are night/ day difference. People seem to be more liberal and accepting in college...or they basically don't care as much.

Because of this, alot of...um, "interesting" people come out of the closet in college...crazy colored hairstyles, vampire people, etc. Some of them would make Lady Gaga blush. If they can handle it, being a woman engineer should be a walk in the park.

That, and quite honeslty you probably WILL be one of a small percentage of girls in the school. Just becasue of that fact you should ideally receive more positive attention than otherwise.

I didn't have many women in my engineering classes. One...maybe two. But I don't recall her being harassed. One of my engineering professors was also a woman...
 
  • #38
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If the threat of sexism worries you, it worries you and there's nothing you can do about it. However, although you can't control how you feel, you can control how you ACT. Don't let your transient emotions deter you from entering a degree that you'd enjoy.


Just like a woman, getting all emotional over nothing...

Kidding, of course... :p
 
  • #39
mege
My mother is a civil engineer. Because of the job market flux, near Detroit, she is doing road/bridge construction inspection to bide time until retirement - but she never has any issues with the guys. It may be different because she has 30 years experience and knows enough people, but she's succeeded across all that time.

I think you may have more of an issue with nursing because of the heirarchy that is everpresent in nursing with MDs above and MAs below. While a male Doctor may not mean to offend your gender, the role in which you are taking as a nurse may cause more 'incident'. Also, patients may be more demeaning than perpetual, professional coworkers in an engineering environment.

Of course you should do what feels right, but if you're to the point of flipping a coin over it, I would suggest going the engineering route.
 
  • #40
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I thought this topic would be about a guy who wanted to become a "female engineering" student :rofl:
 
  • #41
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I think to some extent there is a degree of reverse sexism and affirmative action towards females in engineering. When applying for a program (or a job) in Engineering or other STEM fields, diversity is desired, so often times if all other things being equal, the female will have a slight edge in getting into the program or job. Obviously this effect is rather small and getting smaller every year as more females are going into STEM fields.
 
  • #42
morninglover1
sexist comments no. its not like we're in the 60s..
my mom is a chemical engineer..i never knew how difficult it was until i got into college. of course being engineer for me, aint gonna happen as i am too dumb.

i was in an assembly class once and i was the only female there. i had to drop the class. not for any reason but the teacher didnt want me there as it wasnt part of my prospectus (i really wanted to join though i was interested in it).

as for asking whats better engineering or nursing. are you kidding ..

im a nurse, and it really depends if youre "made" for this. this is a lot of work..and i mean labor intensive. graveyard shifts, etc.

i need to warn you of the people you need to work with, they are like no other. it makes me mad just thinking about it. everyone is snappy. the whole environment is toxic.

the pay is just the same. look it up. engineers sit there and do stuff and get paid the same..and nurses need to clean bedpans, mucus, be elbow deep in blood, secretions..one mistake and you can get fired. i was in deep trouble for writing on the wrong chart. and i mean deep sh$%..


money isnt everything. if i had the brains i'd be an engineer instead :)
 

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