Women in Engineering and Science
Enrollment Statistics in Canada
25.1% of undergraduate students in mathematics, computer and information sciences are female
17.4% of all Undergraduate Engineering Students in Canada are female
By Engineering Discipline:
- Biosystems (39.7%)
- Environmental (38.8%)
- Chemical (34.9%)
- Geological (33.8%)
- Materials (23%)
- Industrial (21.6%)
- Civil (21.5%)
- Electrical (12%)
- Mechanical (9.7%)
- Software (9.6%)
- Computer (9.5%)
15.9% of all Undergraduate Engineering Students in British Columbia are female, slightly lower than the national average
Enrollment Statistics at the University of British Columbia
Women make up 55% of the student body
Female students represent 52% of the students in the Faculty of Science
In Engineering, female enrollment peaked at 20%, 1999. Ten years later it stands at 18.8%.
A large majority of young women do not have a good understanding of what engineering and technology careers entail and therefore cannot aspire to those careers
APEGBC reports female engineers are paid less than men on average for all responsibility levels
Women account for only 9% of the country’s total population of registered professional engineers
For women to achieve success in engineering:
- A cultural shift is required
- Equal opportunities for women in areas including leadership and management are needed
- The number of women in the profession must increase
Women place high importance on mentoring and professional development as part of their career development
Young people generally prefer to work with mentors and role models who are like themselves
Women mentors are fewer in number in science and engineering fields
Role models in similar fields are believed to have experienced similar difficulties and challenges
Women in departments with no female faculty at all experienced more difficulty than other women in believing that their own presence in the major was normal
The presence of a single token woman is not much better [than having none]; since multiple female role models are important to send the message that there are alternative ways to be a woman in science
Women faculty receive less faculty support than men but need more
A mentor can provide personal information about a career, which is very important for young women considering a career in science and engineering
1Almanac of Post-Secondary Education, Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). Retrieved November 3, 2010 <http://www.caut.ca/uploads/2010_3_Students.pdf>.
2Engineers Canada. (2010). Canadian Engineers for Tomorrow: Trends in Engineering Enrolment and Degrees Awarded 2005-2009. p.3, 4. Retrieved October 27, 2010. < >.
4Engineers Canada and Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists. (2009). Engineering and Technology Labour Market Study. Right for me? p. 1. Retrieved October 29, 2010. <http://etlms.engineerscanada.ca/media/Young%20Women-%20Factors %20shaping%20attitudes%20towards%20mathematics,%20science,%20engineering%20and%20technology%20careers1.pdf>.
5 “At all responsibility point levels, the calculated mean total annual compensation is lower for women when compared to the male respondents.” p. 11. APEGBC. (2009). APEGBC 2008 Report on Members Compensation and Benefits. Retrieved October 27, 2010. <http://www.apeg.bc.ca/services/employmentcentre/documents/compsurvey2008.pdf>
6Engineers Canada. (2010). Women in Engineering. Retrieved October 27, 2010. <http://www.engineerscanada.ca/e/pr_women.cfm>.
7 A qualitative survey commissioned by Engineers Canada asked, “What is the vision of success you would like to see for women engineers in Canada?” This question was sent to approximately 120,000 people and 2,432 responses were returned with 41.2% of this number from men and 58.8% from women. Calnan, Janice and Odette Levac. The Future is Now. Engineers Take the Lead! Final Report for Engineers Canada. (2009). Calnan Group. p. 18, 20, 22-23. Retrieved October 29, 2010. <http://www.engineerscanada.ca/files/w_WIEAG_Workshop_Session.pdf>.
8Chesler, Naomi C. and Mark A. Chesler. (2002). Gender-Informed Mentoring Strategies for Women Engineering Scholars: On Establishing a Caring Community. Journal of Engineering Education. p.49-55. January 2002.
9Armour, Margaret-Ann. Mentorship. Retrieved October 29, 2010. <http://www.wisest.ualberta.ca/en/UA-WiSEWISERNetworks/Virtual%20Resource%20Network/Mentorship.aspx >.