Women In Mechanical Engineering: Changing The Face Of The Industry
Women In Mechanical Engineering: Changing The Face Of The Industry
When you think of a mechanical engineer, what pops up in your mind? is it the image of a woman in a beret cap working on a machine? no, it is the image of a man in a beret cap examining the inner machinery of a system. this patriarchal thinking is not your fault but the conditioning you’ve received from the adults in your life regarding gender-based jobs.
Mechanical Engineering – the study of mechanical systems, has always been thought of as a field only men can be interested in and do justice to. regardless, just like any other field of life, women have conquered this battlefield too by making their place in this male-dominated arena of mechanical engineering.
In this blog, we will delve into what is mechanical engineering, how females in mechanical engineering are changing the industry, and the job opportunities and challenges faced by female mechanical engineers. So let’s dive in!
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Table Of Contents
1. What Is Mechanical Engineering?
2. Females In Mechanical Engineering
3. Job Opportunities For Female Mechanical Engineers
4. Challenges Faced By Female Engineers
5. The Final Say
What Is Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical Engineering is a broad branch of engineering that comprises the study of designing, developing, and innovating mechanical machines and devices. Mechanical Engineers are required in all sorts of industries like aerospace, automobiles, electronics, medicine, and more. It is the most highly sought-after engineering programme but, the ratio of men to women in mechanical engineering is nearly 10:1.
According to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), women make up 28.1% of students enrolled in the Bachelor of Engineering Programme and Bachelor of Technology Programme (2018-19). However, in recent times, there has been a shift in the mindset of people, including women themselves, who considered Mechanical Engineering as a masculine job.
Females In Mechanical Engineering
Although mechanical engineering is heavily dominated by men, many women have broken the stigma and have become trailblazers in this field by making a name for themselves. Lila Poonawalla was the first Female Mechanical Engineer in India and went on to become the first woman CEO of our country as well.
Other women, like Mary Anderson, Myra Farrell, and more, went on to become great Mechanical Engineers and proved to the world that female mechanical engineers are just as good and qualified as males.
Females in Mechanical Engineering have not only broken the shackles of male chauvinism but also the narrow-mindedness of women themselves. Many women believe that Mechanical Engineering is a job suitable for men alone, as it requires a lot of physical work that only men can do, but brave women like Lila Poonawalla have rightfully proved them wrong.
Also, apart from breaking the stigma, females in mechanical engineering have reached great heights by becoming very successful Mechanical Engineers and contributing to the development of the country.
Here’s a list of successful Female Engineers:
1. Lila Poonawalla
She was the first Indian woman to become a Mechanical Engineer and worked for Alfa Laval, a world leader in technology. After holding several positions in this organization, she went on to become its Chairperson and smashed another record as India’s first female CEO.
2. Myra Farrell
Myra Juliet Farrell was born in Claire, Ireland in 1878. She was the first woman to invent a clothesline so that women don’t have to hang clothes on rocks to dry. She was also the inventor of a tailoring system that made a skirt pattern from a book into a piece of fabric. She was also a painter and gained immense recognition as an artist.
3. Mary Anderson
Mary made a windshield and filed a patent for a device that consisted of a lever and a swing blade that could be used from inside the vehicle to clear up raindrops or snowflakes from the windshield’s surface.
4. Priya Balasubramaniam
Priya Balasubramaniam is the Vice President of Apple and is a Mechanical Engineer who completed her education at Bangalore University. She represents India in an extremely renowned organization of the world and believes in living life on her terms.
5. Ruchi Sangvi
Ruchi is a female Electrical Engineer of Indian origin and the founder of South Park Commons, a prestigious corporate company. She started her career by working with Oracle and later became the first female engineer to be hired by Facebook.
Job Opportunities for Female Mechanical Engineers
Many women might complain that Mechanical Engineering is not a good fit for them but, the female mechanical engineers who have worked in this field have never been deprived of opportunities to prove themselves and outshine the misogyny. In a world of technology, the technical education and knowledge that Mechanical Engineers possess is considered extremely valuable.
Here is a list of Job Opportunities for Female Mechanical Engineers:
1. Maintenance Engineer
To maintain the functionality of machines, maintenance engineers run diagnostic tests. Large plants employ such types of mechanical engineers to maintain heavy machineries such as cooling and heating mechanical systems.
2. Construction Engineer
On construction projects, construction engineers apply their mechanical expertise and provide repairs and upkeep to the equipment. Mechanical Engineers are also employed by certain construction firms as consultants to work on the layout of commercial buildings.
3. Aerospace Engineer
Female mechanical engineers can assist with making and maintaining airplanes and other aircraft. They can also find jobs in the space industry by supporting initiatives related to space exploration for missile development for the country’s protection.
4. Nuclear Engineer
Mechanical Engineers can work in nuclear power plants and offer their technical expertise. Reactor Operators, Process Engineers, and Quality Engineers are some of the positions for Female Mechanical Engineers in this industry.
5. Manufacturing Engineer
Female mechanical engineers can also work as Manufacturing Engineers and work on the functionality and layout of interconnected systems in a manufacturing unit. This can help the industry to produce high-quality goods and compete with other businesses.
Challenges Faced By Female Engineers
The following challenges are faced by females in mechanical engineering:
1. Gender Bias And Discrimination
It is considered that women are not as technologically adept as men and thus, they experience a lot of discrimination at their workplace. Female Engineers not only need to fight their families and circumstances to work in a male-dominated arena of engineering but also stereotypes that exist in the society.
2. Unfair Promotion
Research shows that many women are unhappy in STEM organizations because men are given promotions more often than them. Female Engineers are treated unfairly and often, the criteria for promotion is not disclosed so it becomes hard for Female Mechanical Engineers to establish themselves in male-dominated organizations and climb the corporate ladder.
3. Pay Gap
Female Engineers are often underpaid as they are considered less competent than men. Women in leadership positions firmly believe that by reviewing salary data annually, this unfair practice can come to a stop.
4. Lack Of support
In STEM organizations where the ratio of male to female employees is poor, women become each other’s solace but find it hard to open up to other male employees who are desensitized and unaware of these issues.
The Final Say
Being a Female Mechanical Engineer in a male-chauvinistic society like India is not easy. Women fight battles at home as well as in workplaces to emerge at the top. But still, despite the discrimination and gender inequalities that women encounter, with their dedication and zeal, they continue to break restraints and become powerful leaders.
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