Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Women Not Pursuing Engineering, Computer Science Degrees

There's a problem.

Women aren't choosing to pursue degrees in engineering and computer science.

In spite of "special boot camps, internship programs and mentoring opportunities," women aren't choosing to go into those fields.

From the Wall Street Journal:
Computer science and engineering are gaining in popularity as undergraduate and graduate courses of study. But in a trend that could further solidify for decades a gender-based earnings gap, men continue to flock to those lucrative disciplines in significantly larger numbers than women.

Nearly half of all bachelor’s degrees earned in the sciences and engineering in the 2015-2016 academic year went to women, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. That is due in large part to the popularity of psychology, biology and social-science programs. Women still earned just 21% of undergraduate engineering degrees and an even smaller share in computer science.

...The gender split in so-called STEM programs has long frustrated school officials, who increasingly offer special boot camps, internship programs and mentoring opportunities to help boost the ranks of women in those fields. But so far, at least, those initiatives have born little fruit in evening out the share of men and women who pursue such degrees.

...“If we had a silver bullet, it would be solved already,” said Erin Cech, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who studies gender equity in science and engineering and called the biases that eat away at women’s confidence in the fields “pernicious” and stubborn.”

She said reframing the skills needed to succeed in hard sciences and engineering—including communication, teamwork and creative problem-solving, rather than just technical capabilities—could help draw more women to the subjects.
Yikes! That last paragraph is sexist!

Skills in the engineering and computer science fields need to be "reframed" to appeal to women. Emphasis should be placed on "communication, teamwork and creative problem-solving, rather than just technical capabilities" to attract more women to engineering and computer science.

So, women should be manipulated. They need to be brainwashed into believing that engineering and computer science have girl stuff like "communication, teamwork and creative problem-solving" and not just boy stuff like "technical capabilities." In other words, the degrees have an image problem with women. They have too much emphasis on the technical gobbledygook. They need a makeover. They need to be feminized.

Sociology assistant professor Erin Cech cites the "biases that eat away at women's confidence in the fields 'pernicious' and stubborn.'"

What biases? What lack of confidence?

Good grief! What BS! What condescension!

There is no problem. No need to find a "silver bullet."

If a woman wants a degree in engineering or computer science and she has the ability to do so, she should get it. If she wants to eventually make more money by going into those fields, she should.

However, if she chooses a different field, that's her choice to make.

Why this goofy hand-wringing? Why make women out to be victims?

This is about choices.

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