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Still Lacking Female Engineers

Posted August 08, 2011 12:36 PM by Baxter

The UK's Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) doesn't mince words: Based on its most recent survey, IET said that there has been no progress in the mission to encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering. Women hold only about 6% of the engineering jobs in the UK, about the same as in 2008, and they make up just 3% of technician ranks. The organization blames the "outdated view" that many hold about engineering, as well as the lack of female role models in the field. What's happening in your company? What success have you made in attracting women engineers to QC/QA jobs?

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#1

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/08/2011 8:43 PM

If women don't like engineering, they could be conscripted....

That might solve the numbers problem, but probably wouldn't make anybody any happier.

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#11
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 5:21 AM

Ok so they're constipated...?
Oh hang on, you said 'conscripted'...
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#2

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/08/2011 11:59 PM

Employing women to be discouraged as it creates unemployment problems to menfolk who normally earns and look after a woman (housewife) and kids. When a woman is given a job will she marry an unemployed man and look after him and kids? We should be rational in thinking, there is no point in going to moon if you can't manage human disasters. Women may be employed if there is no male applicant and in certain jobs like nursing, female doctors, teachers etc.

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#3
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 12:09 AM

That view is wretchedly condescending, to say nothing of offensively stupid.

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#5
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 2:33 AM

This is no longer a common attitude in the West. Most modern countries try to encourage everyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality or age to do the best they can and achieve as much as they can.

If there's competition for jobs then they should go to the people who can do them the best, not to any privileged group.

My wife went back to Uni after the kids left, now has a great job and if I was out of work would support me. It's made her a better, more complete person and I'm immensely proud of her.

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#40
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 10:23 PM

Priority should be for raising a good family. In divorce cases the majority of wives may be either employed or daughters of rich people.

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#56
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 1:59 AM

Both parents should be engaged in raising a good family. A man's role is not confined or limited to providing the money. A woman's role is not confined or limited providing meals, clean house and clean clothes.

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#6
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 3:51 AM

As a female engineer who supports herself, I find this opinion outdated (by more than a century); condescending and restricting.

I understand that you come from a culture where this view is dominant, so I will be less vituperous than I would with a fellow countryman. Instead, I will point out that whenever women are educated, even at the most basic level, infant mortality drops rapidly. The more integrated women are in the producing and ruling classes of a country, the more stable that country becomes. Whilst the US and the UK may not have got the balance quite right, look at the Scandinavian countries where nearly every woman works, husbands share equally in child care and the result is healthy, happy and well-balanced individuals.

A practical question: why would any country refuse to use the talents and brains of over half its population?

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#14
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 8:46 AM
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 4:24 AM
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#17
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 11:31 AM

Whilst the US and the UK may not have got the balance quite right, look at the Scandinavian countries where nearly every woman works, husbands share equally in child care and the result is healthy, happy and well balanced individuals.

If I may play devil's advocate, the result is also a dying culture. In countries with higher educational levels and a higher percentage of women in the work place, the national birthrate is so low that the population does not replace itself. Of the three regions you list, Scandinavian has the lowest birth rate--low enough that it raises some alarm. The worst-case scenario for the low birth rate situation is reasonably well presented in Rick Stout's Demographic Winter--it gives that wonderful blend of data and melodrama to leave you saying there is probably something to the concern, but it probably is not as bad as they are saying.

Having fathers more involved in children's lives is one of the best changes in the West that has occurred in the past 50 years, but pitting motherhood against career has been one of the worst. Motherhood and career do not have to be at odds, but somehow it has worked out that way in Western culture. I suspect it has something to do with our rather narrow definition of "career." Individually we say that a good career means being engaged in personally fulfilling, meaningful activities no matter the money. Corporately we say it means financial success and some sort of corporate ladder prestige.

My second job is counseling. In it, I have observed a peculiar double-standard on this topic for men and women. A father who works hard at his career and manages to spend 10 or 20 hours a week with his children is seen by men and women alike as a sensitive and well-rounded man. He might even think fairly highly of himself. A mother who works hard at her career and "only" spends 10 or 20 hours a week with her children often experiences some sense of guilt about how little time she spends with her children (especially if they are having behavioral problems in school). She believes other women are judging her as a bad mother and has a hard time accepting praise from her husband or other men who see her accomplishments as amazing. I'm not sure if this has to do with the real differences in men's and women's neurochemistry and its impact on the parent/child bond or if it is cultural, but I certainly see it a lot in the counseling office (yes, it is a limited sample population).

The conundrum goes beyond head-counts of women and men in the workplace or in particular career fields. Whether artificially or neurochemically, we do face a real dilemma that myopically focusing on getting women into the workplace has correlated with literally killing off western cultures. Myopically focusing on the family has generated movements of dissatisfied women upset that their potential is going unrealized. Resolving the conundrum will mean more than increasing the number of x-chromosomes involved in engineering. Culturally, we have to eliminate the false alternative fallacy: choose either family or career. We have to go beyond compromise between family and career. We have to work out the ethos of collaboratively participating in family and career. It will require changing some rather ancient customs (how to handle overtime, how to handle conflicts between corporate deadlines and school concerts, etc.). It can be done, but it means adapting the culture of the workplace to our psyches rather than shaping our psyches to fit the customs of the workplace.

It's more than just how much time is spent by men and women engaging in childcare activities or engineering activities. It is a matter of changing societal measures of success. After all, metrics do drive behavior.

P.S. How come in my first career (male-dominated hard sciences and engineering) I always read about the need to get more women involved. In my second career (female-dominated behavioral science and psychological counseling) I never read about the need to get more men involved?

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#23
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 4:11 AM

Absolutely. You've taken a step further back and considered the wider implications. I think a good deal of the birth rate issue is linked to the motherhood and career issue you state clearly.

Do men see her achievements as amazing? Or do they view her home commitments as a tool to be used to undermine her career?

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#31
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 9:59 AM

Do men see her achievements as amazing? Or do they view her home commitments as a tool to be used to undermine her career?

I'm afraid I've seen both attitudes. Once upon a time, I had a little more prestige and authority in my engineering work. I was on a team (all male) that was reviewing applications for an internal promotion. One of the applicants was a very talented woman whom I knew from some training we had gone through together (she was Scottish, but don't hold that against her--the war was 700 years ago, Rose ). I was pushing hard for her, but the company VP on our team said, "I've heard she wants to have children in the next few years. It would be a waste to invest in her."

I challenged him, and pointed out that the male candidates we were considering were at similar stages of their lives and were likely to marry and/or have children in the next few years as well. The VP let me know that men do not take much time from work over such things, and that they never decide to put their careers on hold for a few years over such things. I countered that we really could not base our decision about an individual on a perception of some generic category to which she belongs. He said, "Watch me." I mentioned the incident to HR. The female HR manger told me, "Don't cross that man, you'll lose." Two weeks later I was demoted from engineering management to (egad) the lowly position of engineer.

On the flip side, I've had female clients in the counseling office who can enumerate an incredible list of accomplishments related to sustaining a household, maintaining a child in private school, achieving at work, and doing well in the community. Yet they believe they are lazy, inadequate, and being judged negatively, primarily by other women. Two favorite examples come to mind.

After hearing this story from one lady, I repeated back to her the list of accomplishments, commented about how extensive it was, and asked her what was missing that kept her from thinking she had accomplished enough. She let me know her husband, brother-in-law, and supervisor thought the same way. "Men just can't understand," she decided. (Two weeks later we had a pretty good breakthrough when she commented that she could see beauty in her sister that her sister could not see in herself. That opened the door to her considering that the "outsiders" who saw accomplishment in her might be seeing something she was missing.)

Another client, single mom who described a list of activity and accomplishment almost identical to the one of the aforementioned client, saw herself as a failure--both as a mother and in her work. I pulled out the old measure-generating question that counselors love to use, "If you were not a failure [her word] as a mother and a worker, what would you see in your life that would tell you?" She replied, "My boyfriend told me something like that. Even my son tells me I don't need to do anything more. Maybe I'm just crazy." We're past her thinking she might be crazy, but the point is that these ladies (I do not use the term loosely), are genuinely admired by men for their accomplishments.

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#18
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 11:39 AM

In countries with less employment opportunities, giving jobs to women while keeping unemployed men at home is very dangerous as they will resort to violent acts like heavy drinking, drug trafficking, theft, robbery, gambling, protests against government, joining rebel groups and so on.

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#19
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 11:48 AM

This is true across many different cultures. Substance abuse and violent crime rates are much higher among unemployed men than any other group. It's observed on all inhabited continents. The "explanation" offered by psychologists who believe they have to explain everything is that deriving one's identity and sense of self worth from work is typically a masculine trait. I have no idea why this is true, but it seems to be.

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#20
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 1:37 PM

Rule #1 for engineers and scientists is: facts are facts, accept them at face value. It is hard! Explanations come later, much later, and with frequent twists and turns of the "present day" fads.

A now neutral example. A generation ago it was "known" that dinosaurs were cold blooded. Then a bearded hippie-looking smart aleck measured the footprints in Texas and concluded that only warm-blooded creatures can move that fast. Then somebody actually looked at bone cross sections, and saw birdlike warmblooded features. Was there no bones available before? Sure they were, but nobody thought to look. Now I see a program about Arctic dinosaurs.

What did change?. Surely not the dinosaurs. After all they are dead for some 100 million years. What changed is how we view them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stick with the facts. Explanations come later, sometimes much later, influenced by current fads.

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#25
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 4:25 AM

I have a suggestion:

Rather than massage the men's egos by suppressing the women, why don't we encourage the unemployed men to see their situation is a different light and to gain the sense of self-worth from home-making. If the term '"gender role-reversal" lost its meaning, that would be a major step forward for all of society and humankind.

As GKC said, this will mean a huge shift in societies values and opinions of what is valued. Metrics determine behaviour.

Yes, yes, I know this won't happen overnight, it can't be imposed, and we are, after all, our own worst enemies but a culture where all contributions are truly valued and where one's gender is irrelevant to one's role would be a better situation.

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#26
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 4:27 AM

Bravo, well said.
Del

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#32
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 10:26 AM

Too bad.

You violated rule #1 of engineering. Of accepting facts for what they are. I happened to be a man first, an engineer second. I also happened to grow up in a female only household by wartime necessity. They did what was necessary to survive, and I did fit in best I knew. So, do not pontificate to me about role reversal dreams. Some behaviours are malleable, but some are hardwired. Empires were won on that basis, and empires (and homelands) were lost, due sissification.

Too bad, for you.

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#35
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 1:23 PM

You define yourself as being a man, first. How provincial and restrictive. Does that really define your world view?

Too bad.

The term 'human being' might have served you better.

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#36
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 2:18 PM

Yes, I do define myself as a man, first.

First, for my mother, proudly.

Than, for my family, proudly.

Than, for my chosen country, proudly.

I stand by what I said.

What can you contribute?!?

I accept people's views. But, empty words?

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#39
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 9:42 PM

Obviously this maintenance of "roles" is important to you - to the extent you use "than" rather 'then', perhaps subliminally, in your 'ranking'.

Going back through your posts on this, you speak of dinosaurs and 'hard wired' and 'rules'. You attack with ER egoistic derision and speak of 'pontificating' whereas it was simply a proposal not to base the metrics on gender and not to suppress the ability of half the population.

The roots of this western middle class 'women are ornaments' came with industrial wealth of Victorian England. There are of course other societies that are 'hard wired' to 'uneducated, pregnant and in the kitchen'. These tend to be the ones that sell their female children to slavery, or hand them to bombers.

However, in the western employment context, I know a number of executives who insist a female employee's age must be between 20 and 35, cannot be 'over weight', cannot be married or have children, cannot be a lesbian, (i.e. sexually unavailable), cannot be 'colored', must be some brand of some religion, and must be qualified - and should be happy at 15% under market rates for the role, as, after-all, they're just women.

This of course is breaking more 'equal opportunity laws' than you can poke a stick at. But the funny side is; they then wonder why their staff turnover is high, retraining time and costs are enormous, the information continuity is non-existent, the sales, service, and customer satisfaction is rock bottom and they are losing market share.

Or "rule #1 of engineering", (or any business/problem/role) is to get the right abilities on the job, principally not to accept "facts are facts" but to ascertain what is a fact and what is 'hard wired pride driven erroneous and costly dinosaur thinking'.

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#41
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 12:32 AM

Wow, it is amazing!

Sonny, there is no use psychoanalysing me. I did grew up around professionals, who happened to be women. I did respect them my professional life. I do respect them. And I will respect them. BUT, I was never willing to accept guff from them, either. I give it straight, receive it straight. Your rant is irrelevant.

I addressed Rose and Sue for their distorted views and presumptions. Sue, for presuming, what I shall address myself and what I shall be proud of. None of her business. Rose, for her harebrained idea of a normal man accepting homekeeper role willingly, and obviously, without a depression. Is she that divorced from reality, or a twit? Is she that aquiescing to whatever garbage is thrown her way? Not my kind of woman, nor my kind of person.

I rather have and give respect. And I am rather fussy about that.

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#42
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 12:52 AM

Bully for you.

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#45
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 12:26 PM

If it's "none of her business" why do you post on a site they are members of?

Then the best you've got is a string of insults

However I do agree with "Not my kind of woman". I suspect both would choose a bullet in the brain if it came down to your sexually available valuation benchmark.

Not that they would have much chance of hitting something so ancient and shriveled.

Signed

Sonny

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#46
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 12:43 PM

Maybe attitudes such as his are more prevalent than would be believed, and that might account for the results of the UK survey cited in the OP.

Sorry, can't stay, gotta go clean the cave and catch and cook some fish for the other Neandertals.

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#58
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 2:14 AM

I presume you mean a bullet in his brain...or are you implying sue and I are ancient and shrivelled??

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#61
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 5:03 AM

Obviously A. yes and B. NO! - given I've seen the pictures Your Ladyship Medieval Edged Weapon Mistress and heard about the tank, and I'm not suicidal ...

(though that should be a capital 'S')

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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 7:12 PM
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#57
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 2:10 AM

ROFL...thank you for that, you made me giggle...you'd make a lovely pet.

Actually, "my" "harebrained" idea, isn't mine at all and isn't hairbrained. I have known several men, at various stages of my life, who took on the role of homemaker, without any evidence of depression.

The one I knew whilst at junior school (ages 7 - 11), provided a subtle example to all the pupils that the accepted stereotypes weren't immutable. Not that anyone ever tried to teach that lesson explicitly. He simply joined in the school activities as did the mums...hearing us read, providing extra adult prescence on school trips and so on.

My current boss's wife is more highly qualified and paid than he, and he seriously considered being a homemaker. In the end they employed a nanny, as being an engineer, he just couldn't stay away....

I'm not (as I've said a couple of times) advocating this for all men, just that the men who choose this route are denigrated by those with dinosaur brains.

You are right about one thing - I'm not your kind of woman....

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#37
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 2:18 PM

I think the rather sad term 'Sissification' is a dead giveaway.
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#53
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 1:48 AM

If you read my first post in this thread, you will see that I know men and women are different...especially in their hardwiring. However, some women are wired such that they prefer "male" activities and some men so the prefer "female" activities.

**I'm talking careers / interests here, not sexually preferences. That's a whole different topic**

What I am saying is that "perfect" would be all girls who want to (and that may be c. 10%) can be engineers/pilots/racing drivers and all boys who want to (again may be c. 10%) can be nurses/teachers/secretaries. Mind you, any one living before the 19th century wouldn't understand that last one. Until the invention of the typewriter, all secretaries were male....

And after WWII, the women were returned to the home by propaganda, because the government understood the need to employ the returning soldiers/sailors/airmen. It was those women's grandchildren who started the major change in attitude (encouraged by their grandmothers who had tasted the freedom....?)

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#34
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 11:31 AM
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#55
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 1:54 AM

I caught that on the news. From the things I hear, I think (mostly) the Navy's going about it sensibly...promoting on merit and letting diehards get used to the idea of women's competence.

After all, there are a proportion of incompetent men around in command positions...

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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 8:23 PM

Deriving one's identity and sense of self worth from work is not a typically masculine trait. Men just have a bigger need to be told that they've done well, women just do what needs to be done and move on. The sense of self worth is internal...............................at least that's how it used to be.

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#43
In reply to #38

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 12:09 PM

DISCLAIMER: This is not a general statement about the mental health of women compared with men. It is just a note on the one symptom mentioned by kramarat. Please don't read anything else into the statement.

Our thoughts, beliefs, many personality traits, and many behaviors (i.e. primary phenomenological aspects of identity) are shaped socially through our verbally or behaviorally engaging others, evaluating their feedback (praise included) and adjusting accordingly. Both men and women shape themselves this way, and need such feedback for identity formation.

The need for positive feedback can become pathological and is featured in clinical personality disorders: especially Histrionic, Borderline, and Narcissistic. Of these three, Borderline and Histrionic are the most common, and they have a higher prevalence among women. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is more common among men than women. When you add up the numbers, a pathological need is more common in women than in men.

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 12:18 PM

Personality traits are distinct from personality disorders.

and the point is...?

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#47
In reply to #44

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 12:52 PM

Yes, personality traits are distinct from personality disorders. Such traits can become pathological. Pnaban mentioned the fact that men are more likely to engage in maladaptive coping behaviors when unemployed. In such a case, the management technique for a temporarily deprived need is pathological. The problem pnaban mentioned has higher prevalence in men than in women. The point of the earlier post is that the problem kramarat mentioned is more prevalent in women than in men--just data at this point, though I am fascinated by the neuropsych behind it.

Kramarat suggested (if I read him correctly) that the "need for praise" (describable as a personality trait) was stronger in men than women. The implication was that it was a problem need for men (again, if I read him correctly). The data suggest that when this trait does becomes pathological (i.e. part of a disorder), it does so more often in women than in men. I thought this was relevant data to compare with kramarat's opinion. The prevalence of the three mentioned disorders combined is less than 7% of the total population, and most people really do handle their need for positive feedback without it becoming a problem.

As I mentioned, it is only one symptom. Others have a greater prevalence in men than in women, e.g. substance abuse and lack of anger management.

The point is there is data available to shape some of the semi-stereotypical opinions flying about.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 3:48 PM

People are tight social-order mammals. They need personal support from each other. Including the "massaging of the male ego" so artlessly pointed out by Rose. In my humble (neolithic by some, but who cares?) opinion, we are here to support each others. By DNA, by necessity, whatever. Separate and divided does not do on the long run. A man beaten down is a man beaten down. A woman, exactly the same. A child, is the same, maybe worse, with the promise to carry it over to the next generation. Are they to be viewed separately, or an integral part of the same family? What is the use having our elbows in each other's rib cage? Do you get any advantage out of it? Is it really worth it, to you that is?

I started out my life under Adolph's, then under Uncle Stalin's rule. They all worked on the divide and conquer rule. Good lessons. Why do you think, a present day political animal is using the same techniques?!? Divide and conquer. Eh, Rose, or anybody (not) thinking, in the same fashion.

The details expounded only matter in scholarly detail, not in principal.

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 4:30 PM

The details really are important in principle. Finding the best techniques to help an individual who is "beaten down" or chosing what counseling techniques to emphasize in training is facilitated by the information that also happens to fuel scholarly discussion.

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 7:17 PM

Yes, in study and in help. Yes.

The idea of a man (or a woman) free from the mindnumbing need of it, is strangely absent from the discussion. People free of that yoke, what a strange concept! And no, I am not dreaming. That is not my nature, without solid foundation.

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#59
In reply to #48

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 2:22 AM

Eh? yourself leveles.

Where in anything I've said here am I seeking to divide? My stance is quite the opposite, yet you have berated me for suggesting that the division of labour based on gender should be removed and all people should be allowed/enabled to follow the career path (and I include homemaker in that term) of their choice. (Obviously there are other economic constraints, but that it not the thrust of this thread).

With more people in roles they choose, surely we will be in a better position to support one another and there will be fewer opportunities for the likes of Adolf or Uncle Joe (or Pol Pot or...)?

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#4

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 1:27 AM

Hang on a sec. It takes more than 3 years to educate 'anyone' in engineering. So is it a surprise that there has been no change since 2008? What do 'they' want?

I am tired of hearing that equality means equal numbers of the same gender in a given job/task. Where is this same rational when it comes to teaching or nursing? If females do not want to study engineering, do we force them to equate the numbers? Really!

I believe that most employers employ people based on their merit, experience, education - not gender. BTW, we have more female techs than males. Engineers - all male. Number of female candidates/applicants in the last 11 yrs I've been here - zero.

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 4:44 AM

That's what I popped in here to say. Quite frankly, the numbers haven't changed much in the last 20 years. There were 7 of us in a class of 70-odd mechanicals, 2 (1 mech, 1 elec) out of 12 mech, elec and naval archs on my student apprentice scheme and wherever I've worked I've been 1 of 1 or 2 in small engineering teams.

To my mind, it takes a particular personality (male or female) to be an engineer. More men have this personality than women. Equality is in equality of opportunity. If every girl who wants to study and pursue engineering is able to do so, then we have equality. I don't see people jumping up and down to make sure we have equal numbers of male and female nurses or secretaries....

There is still some predudice against female engineers, however, it predominantly comes from non-engineering female co-workers. In my experience admin staff are the worst. There is also some "old boys' network / mens' room" type stuff that goes on...but there always will be and am I any more disadvantaged that the male colleague who doesn't play golf?

Being an engineer is more than a job, more than a career, more than a way of life. It is a state of being.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 5:27 AM

Watching the news last night I feel that women are under represented as looters.
In the interests of equality should we be encouraging them more?

Just overheard the 'girls' at work saying they'd be looting meat and washing powder as it's so expensive! (I bet they'd go for the shoe shops really)
Del

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 7:49 AM

Shoes are easier to carry....

Anyone noticed an increase in plasma TVs on eBay?

I'd be looting cat food...

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 10:41 AM

Yeah, and men are under-represented at Hooters!! Oh, you said "looters".

Sorry. Sophomoric, animal house humor. It's strictly a male disease. Usually.

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#33
In reply to #9

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 11:03 AM

There were 7 of us in a class of 70-odd mechanicals

Shouldn't it read 70 odd mechanicals?

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#54
In reply to #33

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 1:49 AM

Spot prize! I was thinking that as I typed

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#7

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 3:59 AM

The Sri Lankan entry reflects economic reality. You may not like it, you should not like it, but that does not change the fundamentals overnight. Teaching may be fine (after understanding), but meddling is really high-handed.

The British society IET is simple-minded, and simply tiresome. People gravitate toward professions that fit them. Public school teachers are almost exclusively female. Desirability is quite debatable. Nurses in delivery rooms and neonatal (baby) departments are exclusively female. Should we enforce a blind numerical quota there too? HELL NO!

So, maybe the IET should resolve to dissolve.

I concur with English Rose, whose opinion fits with mine seamlessly. Except the Scandinavian model as ideal. That is waaay off the bell curve for me. Nanny state is not for everybody, nor is it healthy.

So there.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 4:11 AM

The Sri Lankan entry reflects defective attitudinal reality, but not economic reality. Please do not confuse the two.

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#21
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 10:54 PM

If attitude do not support survival or economy we should change it. Opportunities for employment for selected women from male-deprived families or with male having very low income should be given.

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#22
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Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 2:11 AM

No one should dabble into these extraneous issues. Regardless of profession, women and men alike who are interested and qualified should be allowed to enter the profession, without inquiry into their family sex ratio, or incomes of other persons.

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#29
In reply to #22

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 8:04 AM

.....and many companies with a national or a global presence have recruitment policies that state it, whether or not the nation's employment laws encompass the concept or not.

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#51
In reply to #22

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/11/2011 9:39 PM

If government adopts a policy of minimum one job per family either in the state or private sector, there will be less problems. Those who do not have educational qualifications could be trained on the job and a bank loan given to start his/her private business.

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#60
In reply to #51

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 2:25 AM

Now that's an idea that is worth discussion - as long as it is accepted that the one job is equally open to the man or the woman in the family, and that the resulting homemaker is treated with equal respect.

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 4:56 AM

The Sri Lankan entry reflects the cultural reality of his time and place, and I acknowledge that. It is also the cultrural reality of the UK in the late 1800s. I am not advocating any external country meddles in the Sri Lankan (or any other country's <sigh>) culture, but that doesn't mean we can't debate the merits/demerits of each other's viewpoints.

Is it really the IET who are simpleminded, or the headline writers and/or journalists? Have you read the full IET report (I haven't but can try to get a copy via a member)?

Not sure I meant to imply the Scandanavian model ideal...just that it works [for them] and we all could learn something from it. I dare say Scandanavians could point out the flaws in the system to us!

The US and UK are more closely aligned in tending to avoid/denegrate a "nanny" state than some of our Europeans cousins. I think this is epitomised in the "an Englishman's castle" stereotype and the higher tendancy for US and UK people to own (not rent) houses rather than flats. (Yes there are lots of exceptions, this is a sweeping generalisation )

Seems like we're all agreed: the measurement tool is flawed and should be replaced!

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#15

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/09/2011 8:47 AM

It's a bit like saying, "we need equality in numbers of primary school teachers". The situation is almost completely reversed.

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#27
In reply to #15

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 7:54 AM

We should take into consideration all aspects like culture, percentage of unemployed men, type/ nature of job, customers or clients (adults, not students), CEO or boss etc. In one instance the MD asked a Project Manager "do you prefer girls?" when he did not like the new male well experienced engineer in preference to a young girl.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 8:02 AM

It would be illegal to ask such a question in a job interview situation in the UK.

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/10/2011 8:21 AM

In this instance the senior engineer belonged to minority community and the PM was a technician promoted as Supervisor then Engineer and later Manager. Some guys do not like experienced chaps as assistants due to embarassment caused by their good values.

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#52
In reply to #30

Re: Still Lacking Female Engineers

08/13/2011 1:36 AM

That is a situation found all over, in all industries. The inexperienced higher rank resents or feels insecure (?) because of the greater knowledge and experience of the "junior", whilst the more experienced (and often older) lower rank is frustrated by having to teach the boss.

This doesn't happen in all cases - it depends on the attitudes of the people involved - but it is quite common.

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