Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mommas don't let their babies grow up to be engineers

Check out this article from IT World: Mommas don't let their babies grow up to be engineers.
More than 85% of students today aren't considering careers in engineering, a new survey found, as more parents encourage girls specifically to become actresses than IT professionals.
Really, eh? Have you ever heard of your girlfriend's telling her to hit Hollywood back when she was a wee tot? I know I haven't. Either way, that's a scary thought.

The more important statistics for us to consider are the following:
  • 44% of students polled said "a lack of knowledge around engineering as the top reason they would not pursue such jobs"
  • 30% thought engineering was too geeky or boring
  • 22% didn't feel their math and science abilities were adequate (I once heard that this is despite the fact that female students usually scored higher than their male counterparts - the guys were just more confident)
  • 20% of parents encouraged a career in engineering
As they say in the article:
"It's clear that there is a low level of interest and knowledge about engineering careers for both parents and children," said Maurice Ghysels, chair of ASQ's K-12 Education Advisory Committee. "Educators and engineers need to work more closely together to get students excited about the profession and spotlight interesting role models."
That's why one of the main goals of CU-WISE is to help young women see that they can do science and engineering. We know there are girls out there that have the potential to not only succeed in these fields, but to really and truly enjoy themselves in the process. We want to help them discover this potential. By participating in our many outreach activities, you, too, can help with this cause!