In 19th Century, Engineering was generally considered as men dominated profession, but in modern times we can see so many successful women in engineering or technological areas. But still a girl faces lot of dilemma while choosing engineering branch for herself. Whether she can become a successful Civil Engineer OR should she choose computer science as engineering option.
A considerable number of women engineering students chooses their branch based on inspirations from relatives or seniors. Let us understand what can be challenges which may arise in a woman’s life. We will also try to see a possible solution along with challenges.
- Physical boundaries: As career grows in any department of modern business its focus changes from one aspect of efforts to another, example: when an MBA (marketing) starts his/her career journey then his work is more of legwork but as they advance in career then work shifts from physical to mental. Similar things can happen in most engineering branches like a Junior Civil Engineer will most likely be starting his/her career from execution and survey level groundwork and as they grow they may get opportunities which involves more of planning and less of field execution but at whatever stage they are in their careers, surely site visits will be in their routine. This poses a challenge in Women engineers life, as physically sometimes they must bear this kind of challenges and similar task may not be a challenge for their male counterpart. Any branch of engineering may carry such physically demanding task in its folds.
Although now most field are duly secured and organisations take utmost care of their employees, still women have to think about their preferences and Choices and should take most comfortable way they seem aligned with their ambition.
- Security Concerns: Some field of engineering field have security threats involved in their nature for example Petroleum engineering where an engineer must travel to remote locations to perform some tasks. And most petroleum engineers must go through these situations often. Apart from high risk due to work conditions or Area of work, Security threats can also come in different forms. Like Climatic situation of Engineering Job Sites, Political situations, and Nature driven situation etc. These issues are common for Male and Female Engineers but as its believed that physical endurance is more in Men also due to social structures Men are more equipped to handle such concerns better, women’s have to think through while making career choices.
In Most engineering jobs today, women are working and breaking stereotypes even in male dominated field such as Mechanical Or Petroleum engineering, However each individual is made of different type of thoughts and dreams may also be difference, Every girls should thinks what suits her best in terms of work satisfaction and choose the field which she is comfortable and would love to work.
- Family responsibilities: Women have this gift from nature that they can bring a new life into existence, while males can not bring a life to existence, but this drawback gives them an advantage in terms of career, they can focus more on job aspect of life while a woman has to divide her attention between child & Career. Sometimes this becomes very difficult for her to focus on both, and she has to give up one option in almost every case woman chooses their children hence career takes a backseat. While choosing a career option woman also think about future family responsibilities. And which kind of career will give them most freedom to ride both paths with ease.
A Good support system can give solace in such scenarios but that is something someone wish for. While selecting Engineering branch every female candidate should look herself and think if she really wants to pursue that branch and is ready to take whatever may comes her way.
- Financial restrictions: Now society has understood the power of women but still every field of study comes with a financial commitment, and in developing societies like India this sometime families can’t take financial burden of pursuing educational courses. Same goes with higher studies. Although there are several way outs such as Education loans, and Social foundations, Scholarships etc are available to support women education, Women still have to think through about financial aspects.
With today’s financial systems, if someone willing to work hard and ambitious enough to follow her dreams, finance becomes easy to solve problem. But one should take careful and calculative steps towards any financial decisions and more so toward education streams, as repayment should not haunt you later.
- Career Ambitions & restart situations: women engineering aspirants may have started their career journey with certain ambition but due to family or other responsibilities its possible that their ambition may take a back seat. More often women want to pursue their ambition and restart their career. While choosing their engineering field they can also take point into this into consideration.
having said that it’s a no brainer that now demand for quality engineers in every field of work is higher than ever, so if you choose a field of engineering field which is close to your heart and you love to work in that field then getting a restart becomes easy even after several years. Its no more a taboo to hire a qualified and passionate engineer who has several years of gap on her resume because of childcare. Ample opportunity will be available if you are good at what you do.