Nick Anderson from the Washington Post recently highlighted the mixed record of women in engineering at the nation’s top universities.
In 2015, women earned a majority of engineering degrees at two of America’s most sizable engineering schools. Those two programs were Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, which share of female graduates was 53 percent, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which share was 51 percent.
The national average of female graduates in engineering is around 20 percent.“The female share of engineering graduates at most prominent public universities hovers around that mark [20%] because those schools have far higher enrollment than private schools.”
The hashtag movement #ilooklikeanengineer,set social media outlets afire last year with female engineers posting pictures of themselves at work. Craig Benson, University of Virginia’s engineering dean, stated that gender diversity is, “…essential not only for moral reasons but also for effective problem-solving.” In essence, men and women have different mindsets and different approaches to life, so there is a need for the field to expand. This also means that colleges and universities must ensure it has racial and cultural diversity in its engineering classes to include as many ideas as possible.