David, I haven't yet been in contact with Francys. But the last person who comment on that post said she was doing well. Hopefully she stumble on the story and reach out, because I'd love to get caught up.
I think women realizes engineering is under-appreciated field early enough to go out of it. While men stick around and hope for next project, next manager, next customer,,, to be better. only when they turn 40s and 50s they realize this is not getting better.. :)
Reasons for gender the imbalance in engineering.
Testosterone in men:
Men like to blow-sh´t up - women do not.
Today the male hunter-gatherer-provider instinct is shifted to building-fixing-provider "RAWWwLLLL!!!"
As an Engineer, for me, that instinct manifests as: "I AM A MAN WHO CAN BUILD AND FIX ANYTHING !" (man yell:) "RAWWwLLLL!!!"
Also, according to census numbers 60% of women have children by the age of 40. Many engineering projects take years to finish.
I have seen female engineer colleges who had children, lead engineering teams; and the intense difficulties and stress faced daily.
Much more than male colleges.
In a nutshell: Human instincts and hormones play a role in driving career decisions.
PS: I've never met a female engineer who was passionate about blowing sh´t up!
My sister got an MAE degree in the mid '80s. She was the only female in almost all of her engineering classes at the local uni. That has changed some over the years with the smallish engineering company where I work having at least 4 female engineers from that same university on staff. Of course, that's 4 out of about 25 engineers total.
My sister went on to spend her entire career, so far, at a large engineering/manufacturing company that we all know. She's now a VP of Engineering there.
I think that supports my point, if not makes it. France, Italy and Germany all seem to have a far greater sense of national pride than do the Anglo-Saxon countries mentioned. Here in Australia a lot of the inhabitants DO have a sense of national pride but the government does not (I think the government confuses National Pride with Xenophobia). What do readers from the other countried mentioned think?
Sorry, this is getting a bit off topic. Brian, you mentioned in a previous post you were looking for a young lady whom you had previously had dealings with on this subject - Francys someone? Did you ever find her?
Some good points.
I too believe that we shouldn't be trying to get more women into engineering purely to make the numbers look a particular way. In all walks of life where people are faced with options, some options will be more popular than others and may have different levels of popularity based on gender e.g. vanilla is a scent that is greatly liked by men but less so by women but that doesn't mean that Yankee Candle have to go all out on their advertising to increase the number of women who like vanilla - accept that some things are just not attractive to some subsets of the population.
That said, if there are real barriers then they should, of course, be addressed.