While some may dispute it I truly believe that we have a shortage of engineers in the US. Probably in the whole world. There are lots of reasons why this might be the case. Don Dodge wrote about some of them in his blog recently in a post called 50% of US engineering students dropout - Why?. One theory I have is that we don’t have enough of the right people starting in engineering. I do agree that we could be teaching engineering better and we need to look into that. But I think that if more people knew more about engineering and realized how cool it can be we’d have a better chance of getting more people who will stick with it in the pipeline. And to me this most certainly includes getting more girls interested in engineering fields.
Yesterday I fund a review of a Catherine Didion Keynote by the “Wicked Teacher of the West.” It’s a good read and in it I found a couple of good websites for girls to learn about engineering. (BTW bio on Catherine Didion)
For middle school girls there is www.engineergirl.com where apparently the most popular asset is “ask an engineer.” Some other high spots:
For high school girls there is Engineer Your Life. I love the motto “Dream big. Love what you do.” Isn’t that what its all about? This site has some profiles of women engineers doing interesting things as well. BTW if you what to show girls some women in the computer field there is the WM_IN series of interviews with women at Microsoft.
And a pair of women at Microsoft who inspire me (Hilary Pike and Diane Curtis) blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/springboard/ with stuff for college level students and include a lot of career stuff on a regular basis. I think that many would find the post on Challenges and Benefits of Consulting as a Career Options that Hilary Pike did recently based on a presentation she did with Microsoft Vice President of Services Wendy Gillen to be interesting. There are some things about working in consulting as a woman that add insights you don’t read often.