What is engineering?
The Wikipedia definition is broader and more inclusive than many:
Engineering (from Latin ingenium, meaning "cleverness" and ingeniare, meaning "to contrive, devise") is the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent design, build, maintain, research, and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.
Look around. Everything you see, touch, feel has been engineered: the chair you are sitting on while working at your desk on your computer; the shirt you are wearing, whose polyester fabric has was created from oil, processed, woven, designed, cut, manufactured and distributed to your local store; the store (where do we start); the coffee maker which brewed the ground roasted coffee beans which you sip from your ceramic mug; and on and on and on.
Engineers Canada tells us that "engineers design products, processes and systems that protect the environment, and/or enhance the quality of life, health, safety and well-being of Canadians. They also manage world-leading companies at the forefront of emerging technologies."
Women are creative problem solvers and should be leading in the profession of engineering, but they are not. They are incredibly under represented and tend to leave the profession. On August 10, 2014, the American Psychological Association's study found that: "Nearly 40 percent of women who earn engineering degrees quit the profession or never enter the field, and for those who leave, poor workplace climates and mistreatment by managers and co-workers are common reasons, according to research. While women accounted for more than 20 percent of engineering school graduates over the past two decades, only 11 percent of practicing engineers are women, and only 9 percent of electronic and environmental engineers are, researchers report."
The situation is not a good one. When girls/women put their minds to something, their progress is astounding. Imagine the progress, if women worked together and with men to change this state of affairs.
Follow the articles on this engineering mini-site and hopefully with the help of the profession, we will soon have an e-magazine for "Women in Engineering".