Only 30% of women who earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering are still working in engineering 20 years later
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.
This year’s campaign theme of the IWD is #EachforEqual, and as described “Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue.”
According to the SWE Research only 30% of women who earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering are still working in engineering 20 years later, while only 13% of engineers are women.
As described in the IEEE Transmitter article “Celebrating International Women’s Day: How to Get (And Keep) More Women in STEM” Women Need Women Mentors. In more details, As women enter into higher education and the workforce, having other women leaders as mentors and for collaboration is important. Creating opportunities for women to have mentors and seek advice from established female technologists will help women feel less isolated in the classroom and office.
In IEEE Region 8 we have seen women engineers serving in leadership positions, motivating in that way other women but also young girls to follow their dream to be an engineer. One of the most demanding positions of an IEEE Region, that of being the Director, is currently run by a woman, Magdalena Salazar Palma, but also going back in the early past, the previous Director was again a woman, Margaretha Eriksson.
Great women achievers and influencers, as Katherine Johnson , have led and shown the way that Equality is not a women’s issue. As Eleanor Roosevelt said“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”