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Take a chance on women in technology

Over and over I hear that there are not enough women engineers, computer programmers, scientists etc. Yet I also know that of the 25% of my engineering class that was female, only about 5% are still doing engineering. We are under utilizing people who are trained in the sciences and then complaining that we can't change the culture of science.

Also there are many trained female economists, mathematicians, business students who have the capability to learn how to do high tech jobs, but companies don't want to spend the time to train them to do the job, and let's face it everyone needs a minimum of 6 months training when they start a new job even if they are an expert on the subject.

I would love to hear of engineering and technical companies who are actually training women to be technical. Companies who haven't just hired the token woman engineer/programmer but have actually trained women to do the job well, and have brought another perspective into a male dominated work force.

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    Feb 7 2014: The title "Take a chance of women in technology." I suggest "More women in technology, the more the better."
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    Feb 4 2014: Here is a link that might interest you: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/events/womens-hackathon2014/default.aspx

    You do not mention what those trained in engineering are doing instead in the UK or which areas in engineering they studied. Do you happen to know the proportion of male engineering graduates employed as engineers in the UK? Have engineers of both genders had trouble getting placement?

    Here are pertinent data for the United States by area of science and engineering and degree attained, broken down by gender. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/pdf/tab9-5_updated_2013_11.pdf This table does not make comparison to the proportion of graduates of each gender, so from these one cannot see whether a higher proportion of males with an engineering degree achieve employment. You would need to compare against the proportion of males and females with the degree in question to establish who of credentialed applicants is more successful getting employment. You would also need to check whether there is a gender difference in the tendency to leave a field out of a change of interest or priorities. The Society for Women Engineers had an event recently featuring a female scholar who studies the differential attrition after freshman and sophomore year of women versus men in engineering.
  • Feb 5 2014: I have worked with women in technology for the last 50 years. I have hired a lot also. I have found that they fall into the same 4 groups as men.

    1. superstars
    2. competent
    3. 9 to 5
    4. dependent

    Those that are worthless get fired.

    Training requires a certain attitude and ability. Tech firms tend to train by fire and watch how people react.
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    Feb 4 2014: come on now. women does not look good in safety helmet.
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        Feb 4 2014: freedom till the end. your words are sweet as maple syrup.
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        Feb 4 2014: If you saw that pup in real life, I suspect your smile would only widen. Her eyes shine.
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        Feb 4 2014: unfortunately, Țepeș didn't make a particularly good job saving us, and those muslims invaded and stayed for 150 years. are you suggesting that my original remark about women and helmets has something to do with muslim influence?
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        Feb 4 2014: a teaching i support wholeheartedly. surrounded by women ... a delightful working condition.

        (i can always pull something un-pc upon request, it appears)
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      Feb 7 2014: Mr. Pinter,

      Let's be serious. Women look better in almost everything.
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    Feb 4 2014: Hi, Catherine!

    I assume you are looking for companies in the US? Good luck. Companies don't hire many women in those fields because there is a significant financial investment in hiring and training to begin with, and single women may marry and have children or married women may decide to have more children, etc. They also know that women typically do 80% of work at home, etc. But you might explore companies in Denmark or based there that might have subsidiaries where you are or might want to move to.

    The entire nation of Denmark is pretty much one big upper middle class, with the world's most level personal incomes. High taxes pay for excellent lifelong education and healthcare. Entire populace is upwardly mobile: Danes change jobs about every 3-4 years, with middle- aged folks often getting advanced college degrees and being replaced at their jobs by youngsters. Trade unions are very strong, with great vocational training, so blue-collar types do very well there, too. I haven't studied how women fare there- you will have to explore that yourself. They do have two-year paid maternity leave there, and that is a great sign! I am sure that the key to their system is their unofficial motto that they take very seriously: "No Dane is better than any other Dane!" That, and a strict judicial system intolerant of corruption high and low, so taxes usually go where they are supposed to go.

    Best and good luck!
    • Feb 4 2014: I'm not disagreeing with Brendan, but I still think its sad that companies won't invest in training (for women and for men). I live in the uk, although I'm American,and I do feel that the equality between sexes is closer here than in the US, but when it comes to engineering/ tech jobs it is still a very narrow field.

      The difficulty is that everyone complains that there aren't enough qualified people, but companies don't want to invest in making people qualified. It leads to no loyalty of employees to companies and no loyalty of companies towards employees. How can that possibly be sustainable when a typical engineering or tech project takes 5-10 years from start to finish?
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        Feb 4 2014: I fear the problem is pandemic in the economic First World, Catherine. Tech jobs are outsourced to India and elsewhere where folks with graduate degrees and doctorates are paid far, far less than folks in countries with higher income levels.

        Many or most well-paid techies in the US work for Big Pharma or companies with contracts with our vast Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Energy, which are really all the same entity and furnish the lion's share of university grants in the US - and perhaps in the UK as well, since Britain and the US are connected at the hip - I haven't researched that. Those scholars who cannot or will not obtain security clearances are often SOL.

        Gov and big corps (same thing) are the slave masters, universities are often slave markets, and scholars content to take grants from or work for those vast, male-dominant, greedy and dangerous entities are intellectual slaves, I fear. These problems are magnified for women, who do not have full citizenship in the US, of course.

        Best, and happy hunting, my dear lioness!
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