My alma mater, Georgia Tech, is known as an engineering school. When I was in college a couple of decades ago, we didn’t have many non-engineering degrees even offered. If you decided you didn’t want to go the engineering route, you could go into business or architecture, but there wasn’t a whole lot more. As a result, the “ratio” — famously quoted by male undergrads at Tech to complain about the lack of suitable potential dates — was about three to one.
Today, those numbers aren’t much different. According to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), in the United States, women have increased their numbers in many professions previously dominated by men, including law, business, medicine, and other STEM — but the number of women in engineering in the U.S. has not increased since the early 2000s.
Most studies show that, depending on the exact field, females make up somewhere between 12% and 14% of the domestic engineering workforce. So, we certainly have a long way to go in encouraging young women to pursue engineering careers.
What’s more, while women have always made important contributions to the engineering field, they have not often been acknowledged. The editorial staff at Design World is undertaking a new project, where we will recognize women in different points in their engineering careers, across our industry.
We’ll be unveiling a special Women in Engineering issue in November, and it will celebrate some of the most inspiring women in the design engineering space. Our editorial team will highlight female engineers who are positively influencing design technology or engineering practices. And I’m proud to say that fully 50% of the gross proceeds from this issue will be donated to charity or scholarship relating to STEM/STEAM work. The women we profile will together choose the donation recipient.
So let me throw it open to you: Do you work with any brilliant, creative and driven female engineers, the type of coworkers whose accomplishments could serve as an inspiration to young women? If so, please drop me an email at the address below with their story, so we can follow up with them in advance of the issue.