I'm from England and female. We're technically part of Europe but don't like to label ourselves as part of Europe. Anyway, to me, it looked like a cosmetic ad or fashion ad. That ad would never have got me to choose engineering as a career. The only reason I became interested was because one gentleman came to my school and discussed 5 apprenticeships with different companies. I sent a CV to all 5 and was invited to an interview by 3. Long story short, at the age of 15 (pending GCSE results) I had signed on to an appenticeship all because 1 guy informed me about apprenticeships.
We might have to forgive EC for doing such a cheap thing, when considering austerity and restriction needed in Europe.
But yes, they can do better in brushing up old 50s video clips and wrapping them up into new ideas that effectively motivate younger generations, male and female, to take part in science.
Science is a broad term that also includes Medicine, Biology, Chemistry and in these specific fields women have more representation than men. Though the video is a welcome step to motivate women take up Engineering fields but EC should motivate both genders in general.
When I was an EE undergrad, there were two women who took many of the same courses I did and who graduated the same semester I did.
They were always the only women in those EE courses, and they were also the two smartest students, the ones who always got the highest grades on every exam.
Not all women are into STEM, just as not all men are into STEM. But I have worked with some very talented female design engineers, and I have often wondered about the careers of those two brilliant women from college. I have no doubt they were very successful at whichever paths they chose in our industry.
"I will say that my girlfriend and her daughter are often less worried about the 'how' behind things than the 'what' that it does for them. In many cases, I try to explain the 'how'. Sometimes they are interested and often times I get the 'why are you telling me this'"
That's hilarious, and it's also been my experience. In fact, sometimes when we're with company, and someone asks some detailed technical question, my wife responds (correctly). And then she follows that up with, "And the really scary part is that I knew that."
I don't obsess as to why women are not so into STEM. I had zero women in my EE classes in undergrad and grad school. And in all my years at work, worked with at most 4 women total. All software types.
My daughter aced all of her STEM courses, including a Junior level Pascal course she took when she was a high school Freshman, and she went into vet medicine. So that's sort of straddling the fence, but it's not engineering. So, she certainly wasn't intimidated by STEM courses, but she was more interested in how nature engineers things than in engineering these things herself.
A couple of thoughts:
I wonder if the "choice" is more about exposure (i.e. lack of mentoring and opportunity). I will say that my girlfriend and her daughter are often less worried about the "how" behind things than the "what" that it does for them. In many cases, I try to explain the "how". Sometimes they are interested and often times I get the "why are you telling me this" look. Hopefully more men and women mentoring younger girls (as well as boys) will make for better scientists and engineers that include both girls and boys!
A few jobs ago the mostly-male embedded programming group I worked in interviewed a candidate with suitable education and experience. A significant part of the discussion afterwards was whether our interviews had been consistent with other interviews because she was so attractive, and then whether we were unfairly being *negative* questioning our objectivity (and by extension the candidate) because she was so attractive.
Admittedly the case was a closer call than another candidate who was also attractive and also clearly super-competent (despite being a fresh-out masters). In that case the packaging was not an issue either way.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
Brought to you by