Engineer Your Life is a terrific initiative serving to break down stereotypes and challenge social expectations about who can be an engineer. The goal is to inspire young women to consider engineering as a creative, team-oriented, and lucrative profession that makes a difference. Why does this matter? Well women comprise just 20.4% of engineering majors in universities and 11.1% of practicing engineers. Meanwhile, engineering is considered among the ‘fastest-growing occupations’. But that’s only the beginning…
EYL’s latest study surveyed high school girls, guidance counselors, and practicing engineers to understand ‘cultural perceptions of engineering and its feasibility as a career choice.’ These four messages tested best among the girls:
Live your life, love what you do. Engineering will challenge you to turn dreams into realities while giving you the chance to travel, work with inspiring people and give back to your community.
Creativity has its rewards. Women engineers are respected, recognized and financially rewarded for their innovative thinking and creative solutions.
Make a world of difference. From small villages to big cities, organic farms to mountaintops, deep-sea labs to outer space, women engineers are going where there is the greatest need and making a lasting contribution.
Explore possibilities. Women engineers often use their skills to go into business, medicine, law, or government. An engineering education will prepare you for many different careers.
In light of engineering’s persistent public image problem, these messages—which are aligned with the values and aspirations most important to girls—are convincing girls that engineering is exciting, meaningful, and definitely worth considering as a career. These messages are used throughout Engineer Your Life, and the coalition encourages the entire engineering community to adopt them in all your outreach activities and materials.
What a cool campaign! Just check out the EYL videos:
Initiatives like this give me hope that the next generation of engineers will include a lot more motivated women with the expertise and confidence to narrow the gender divide. For good.