The contribution of women to electrical engineering is very important. As a result, many women are inspired and motivated to join the electrical engineering career. This begs the question of what should be done to promote the idea of many women entering the profession. The answer to such a question is not easy because the responsibility lies on the women, men, electrical engineering companies, as well as schools that educate on this particular major. Regardless of their gender, women seem to be brilliant and inspire the next generation of women to join electrical engineering and perform even better as compared to men in this field.
The reason for this is that women overcome the challenges that were making them fail to enter this profession. This is evident since the number of women who entered electrical engineering is continually increasing across the globe. Even though women enter engineering, there is the problem of retention where the number of women leaving the career is relatively high.
Men also quit electrical engineering because of various reasons, but the rate at which women leave electrical engineering is much higher as compared to men. Women leave although they have an excellent performance in the job, and they are as equal as men. Women leave because of stereotyping, negative environment, and bad bosses but people still are trying to find a solution.
The issue of women leaving the field of electrical engineering is controversial since different people give different reasons as to why women may be quitting.
Individuals state that women choose to stop because there may be cases of harassment as well as prejudice. Others argue that this is not the case and that the reason as to why women often quit as compared to men is because the women are the minority and for this reason, they feel that their contribution is not as appreciated as that of their male peers. This perception is backed by evidence where there are gendered roles and tasks. Women may have gone through frustration as a result of rejection and decided that leaving is the best solution. Even though the reason as to why women quit electrical engineering is subtle, there should be effective solutions to ensure that women can retain their position in the fields. This will promote equality as it will ensure women have equal opportunities as men.
There are many solid arguments as to why women are leaving the engineering field and the potential solution that can be adopted to ensure that women get to retain their possessions. According to Fouad, Chang, Wan, and Singh (2017), among the various sciences, engineering is the field that is associated with a high attrition rate. The reason for this is that the turnover rate of women is higher where many women are seen leaving the field. Even those who are not going seem not to be happy at work. Many women graduate with electrical engineering degrees across the globe.
However, the number of women practicing electrical engineering is continually reducing. This is an indication, and evidence that women are leaving the field since the number of women should increase gradually as per the number of graduates. Many women tend to get attracted to join the engineering field, where they effectively compete with their male peers and even get better school grades as compared to men. However, something happens that makes these women to either stop practicing engineering or to quit from the jobs even if they have not performed for long. The work, as well as the professional environment in the engineering field, does not meet the needs of the women; hence, the women turn to quitting as their only hope.
Additionally, there is the notion that women are not confident enough to be electrical engineers. As a result, women tend to quit when questioned regarding their courage in this field. Since they are perceived not to be courageous, the women may be stereotyped. In addition to stereotypes, women will not be given equal pay as compared to men. The women also tend to have limited promotional opportunities (Verdín, Godwin, Kirn, Benson, & Potvin, 2017). These reasons make the women quit since they develop the sense that they are underrepresented and not given equal opportunities, although they are competent enough to do their tasks and roles. Moreover, when women who are higher in ranks or who were promoted quit, the ambitious women who are starting their careers may get demoralized and see that they do not have a place in engineering. The women then choose not to practice electrical engineering and quit.
The idea that women are not confident enough for electrical engineering tasks and responsibilities is not valid. The reason for this is that these women displayed a high sense of courage by joining this major and completing their career and getting the title of engineer. The women show courage because the field is perceived to be strong, and they did not care about that and competed for the best opportunities with the males. Besides, as a result of their courage, women were able to apply and got the chance to join various organizations to work as electrical engineers. These women were subjected to stereotypes throughout their school period. That is from their male peers as well as their professors. The women were also stereotyped throughout their internship period. They were patient until they got employment opportunities. As a result, they exhibited a high sense of courage to pass through all that, and they cannot be said not to be courageous. In this case, the women are bold, and the reasons as to why they choose to quit their careers cannot be attributed to lack of courage.
Furthermore, in the workplace environment, women are typically assigned roles that tend to be associated with a negative impact on their electrical engineering career. These tasks includes keeping records, taking notes, as well as sorting papers in work (Menezes, 2018). On the other hand, their male peers are assigned roles that tend to build as well as cultivate their career. Men are assigned tasks that involve designing as well as testing new electrical devices. Moreover, men roles also include solving problems in the workplace environment. As a result, the men are able to have the opportunity to grow and cultivate their careers. In the case of the women, the roles that they are assigned do not promote the cultivation of their career path (Menezes, 2018). As a result, women see quitting as the only way to have a sense of mind as well as a sense of belonging. It is perceived that by leaving women tend to apply the skills and expertise in other fields where they feel that they will be appreciated.
Female engineers who were not treated well by their male co-workers, supervisors or managers develop the idea of quitting the organization. The reason for this is that they feel that they cannot remain in an organization where the environment is toxic to them in various ways. For instance, women cannot stay in a situation where their peers cannot listen as well as comply with what they say. After leaving the organization, women often consider leaving engineering since they have the thought that they will undergo similar challenges in other organizations.
In this case, managers, co-workers as well as supervisors who share work environment with the female engineers have a primary responsibility of ensuring that they promote as well as support the women for their work (O’Neil & Hopkins, 2015). Besides, students, as well as educators who share the school environment with the female electrical engineers, should also support them. By providing support and recognizing the women for being engineers will help in changing the engineering culture. This is important since it will promote equality; where male and female engineers will have equal opportunities and can be assigned similar goals. This will ensure that women will not leave engineering.
Furthermore, women are typically associate themselves with social roles as well as goals which are not promoted due to limited opportunities. In many cases, female electrical engineers enter into the field to bring positive changes that may help shape this particular major (Yvette, 2012). For instance, many female engineers have the goal of advocating for programs that will boost the performance of women in the workforce. The programs are essential in the sense that they will see that women can have roles and responsibilities that will cultivate their culture and make them develop their careers. However, upon joining the workforce, the brilliant women are given limited opportunities which will limit their abilities to establish conscious social goals (Yvette, 2012). As a result, women realize that electrical engineering is not open to social responsibility as well as dedicated to solving national and global problems that tend to affect women. In this case, the women will choose to quit since they realize that they are not taken for seriously in their careers. As a result, it is asserted that the engineering curriculum is literally driving women away.
In addition to the limited opportunities that make women fail to achieve an important societal goal, there are arguments that the electrical engineering curriculum is designed in a manner that will make women change their mind and hence quit in the future. The reason for this assertion is based on the fact that each profession has its way of introducing the people who pursue them to its distinct culture, language, skills, values and practices. The students who pursue electrical engineering get to observe as well as practice these through group projects. The students learn how to think as well as act as electrical engineers (Madara, 2016 ). With these, the student gets to learn that collaboration and teamwork is what makes people great engineers. Most female engineering students tend to report negative experiences when working in groups, especially when they collaborate with their peers (Madara, 2016 ). Although this is not the case with all female students; some female students report a positive experience. With the students who declare a negative experience, the instances of the female being assigned managerial and secretarial jobs with the male classmates make women develop negative attitudes about the workforce and may decide not to practice engineering or may quit after joining the workforce if similar instances tend to appear.
The curriculum of electrical engineering is designed in a particular manner that has competition as well as design programs. Students get to work in groups and design new electrical equipment’s. Even though female students put their best to aid in the achievement or winning of their groups, success is said to have come from the male students. There are many cases where women report being treated differently by their educators as compared to male students (Madara, 2016 ). As a result, the female students feel that they will be treated separately in the workplace and may choose not to practice engineering. Those who persevere and join the workforce may end up quitting when the boss treats them differently. These women left because they realize they may end up having the same experience as they had in the school.
In the long run, the number of women in electrical engineering as well as general engineering is gradually reducing. This begs the question of what is the potential solution that will ensure those female engineers will not leave their jobs. Proponents who support women engineers advocate that changing the engineering curriculum will ensure that women are treated well in school by their male peers. It will also ensure that women will be assigned engineering roles in schools. This is important as it will aid in improving the capabilities of the female engineers. If women are assigned engineering roles in schools, they will also be assigned similar roles in their organization. As a result, the women will have equal opportunities as male and will not decide to quit for lack of opportunity. It will also ensure that women can fulfil critical societal goals.
However, changing the curriculum is not the only right approach. Engineering needs to solve stereotyping as well as gender expectations (Kim, 2016). This is the best solution to the issue of women quitting their engineering jobs. The reason for this is that it will usher in a new era of engineering where women will not be seen as minor beings in the field of engineering. Women will also not be given roles based on gender expectations but as electrical engineers.
In this case, the practical solution of helping women maintain their engineering jobs, without the stress that may make them quit is to change the engineering culture where women take engineering roles are taken seriously. The reason for this is that the women’s decision as to whether to leave or to stay in electrical engineering is typically determined by psychological factors as well as other factors that affect their organizational climate (O’Neil & Hopkins, 2015). As a result, if the culture is changed and women are taken seriously, they will have a healthy corporate environment that facilitates them to do their work effectively; hence, the women will not decide to quit.
Also, women’s decision as to leave or to stay in engineering can be influenced by supportive figures, including co-workers, supervisors, and managers. In the current modern world, female electrical engineers who work in organizations that they are valued in and where their contributions in the organization is recognized as well as appreciated tend to complete their careers. By changing the engineering culture and taking female engineers seriously, organizations will make investments on the training of women. This is essential as it will ensure that females can develop professionally. As a result, women will show high satisfaction with their jobs by not quitting.
In conclusion, various reasons make women quit engineering. However, finding a solution that will see that women are not leaving their jobs and that they are happy with their jobs is essential. The reason for this is that the solution will promote equality where male and female engineers will have similar opportunities. Equality is vital in the sense that it will ensure that female electrical engineers will be assigned duties and roles that will aid in cultivating as well as developing their profession. In any case, the women quit as a result of stereotype. The performance, as well as the achievements of the female engineers, are not appreciated or recognized. This is not good since it hinders many women from achieving their societal goals. As a result, many women consider quitting the profession because of the stress they experience due to stereotype. For this reason, changing the engineering culture will see that women in engineering can be appreciated and also supported. To sum up, the support offered to women can influence their decisions to leave engineering.