Why do women steer clear of engineering?

Whenever I read about a dearth of women in engineering, I am struck by the fact that many young women continue to resist the opportunities awaiting them in this male-dominated profession, says Kristin R. Tichenor, senior vice president for enrollment and institutional strategy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, for the Washington Post. Twenty years ago, high school girls simply were not taking the requisite math and science classes to gain admission to college-level engineering programs. Today, there are plenty of young women taking AP calculus and physics in high school, yet we have made little progress in the number of women choosing to pursue engineering in college. The issue is no longer a matter of academic preparation but one of academic inclination. Women continue to steer clear of engineering due to a lack of familiarity with the profession, ­particularly in terms of its potentially positive social impact, ­ and a lack of confidence in their ability to succeed in the field…

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