My colleague over at Engineer Blogs wrote a great post on women in engineering. This is one of those cases where the internet both nurtures me and discourages me. It's nice to know there are dudes out there who respect me as a colleague and engineer first. It's nice to know there are guys who think society is largely responsible for the different career tracts men and women take. Before I graduated college I worked in the health care industry part time. And I really had no idea that there were still men out there who felt women were any less capable or intelligent.
But then I met so many excellent women on the internet who had the same experiences I did it was pure joy not to feel so alone. So this is just another rant about all the bullsh#$ floating around on the net and in my life and if you don't like it you don't have to read it.
The dudes on the reddit comments for Fluxor's article talk a lot about how women get all the jobs. That there are all these "big companies" out there who have to hire women to fill their diversity quota. Where are these companies? Perhaps someone could point me in the right direction? I'm job hunting in engineering with significantly more real world experience than my peers while applying for the same level of jobs. And yet, no bites so far. It would be interesting to know how many of my peers have job offers and whether that's overwhelmingly in favor of the perhaps 15-20% of women. But I can rant on what I do know.
In the last n+3 years my department went from having 0 female engineers to then 2, then it lost one, hired another one to bring it back up to 2, lost one, and hired back the one who left initially to push us back up to 2. In recent days we've swarmed to a whopping 4, three of whom are young early 20s and the other perhaps late 30s early 40s. These 4 people make up approximately 4.8% of the department's engineers. That's well below the national average of female mechanical engineers being something closer to 10%. One supervisor once told me until he hired his first female engineer that was the first resume he'd ever received from a woman. I don't know if that's true or not. With, as I said before, 15-20% of the engineers at my school being female one has to wonder why they either wouldn't be applying or would be getting screened out of even entry level positions.
And check this sh@# out, female engineers still earn less than their male counterparts. Glassdoor looked at female and male salaries based on years of experience alone. Looking at the bottom end you wouldn't expect "choices" about childrearing to have any affect on this. And yet, women compared with equally qualified men in the 0-3 years of experience range earn 97% the salary of their male colleages. Once you get into the 4-6 year experience category that gap widens to women earning 91%. Now I'd like to make some conclusions based on the women I know in the workforce but unlike the commenters on reddit, or many of my colleagues, I prefer not to draw conclusions from 4-5 people. When I've known perhaps several hundred engineers where 4-5 of whom are women it would be pretty idiotic to draw conclusions about their capabilities "as women" their relative ease or difficulty in career advancement or ridiculously unrelated things like their perceived level of attractiveness. I'll end this post with some quotes heard in the workplace and in all cases said to my face (not "shop talk" or "locker room talk").
Why isn't this organized? You should organize this, women are supposed to be good at organizing.
Could you go over to the shop and bat your eyelashes and make friends so we can get these parts done?
Did you know that so-and-so slept with her boss to get her job? She also slept with DudeA and DudeB. (All not true, but all none of his business regardless)
Well I had to give DudeX a raise, he has a family to support.
Who do you think is good for this role? Oh? Why would I promote her, she's preganant, right? So we're just going to lose her anyways. No, we'll find someone else. (She came back after the pregnancy and still works there).
What? That applicant didn't tell me she'd just had a kid. Can't believe she hid that one this whole time through the whole interview process.
I'm not sure why we're hiring another woman.
Stop disagreeing with me on this (engineering related discussion) I get enough backtalk at home.
Oh I see you're dressed like a lady today, that's a change. (wore a skirt, my bad)
Why are you working while in school, aren't you married?
And much, much more! Here's to me getting a job elsewhere as at the very least I'll have access to more data. And more data is always better.