Fewer women pursuing engineering

November 10, 2010

Despite a decade of efforts to encourage more girls to think of technical careers, the number of women enrolled in engineering programs in Canada is on decline, dropping from a high of 21% in 2001 to 17% in 2009. The dean of UBC's faculty of applied science says the decline rests squarely on the shoulders of engineering themselves, who have been focusing too much on the technology side rather than on how engineering can improve people's lives. Engineering professors interviewed by the Globe and Mail say there is still a lack of awareness of what engineers do. Some engineering schools are increasing the number of female faculty to provide more role models that will in turn help draw more young women to the profession. Meanwhile, much of the emphasis of both institutions and industry associations is getting out the message that engineering is a helpful profession. Globe and Mail