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Female Engineer - Girls Can Compete

Over the next decade, more than half the careers will require a STEM education; we look at how women can help fill engineering jobs of the future.
Female Engineer - Girls Can Compete

Heather Yates, OSU Instructor

For more information visit these links:

Oklahoma State University
CareerTech STEM
Oklahoma Afterschool Network

Show Dates

Show 1205: Female Engineer - Girls Can Compete

Air date: January 29, 2012

 

Transcript

ROB MCCLENDON:  WELL ENGINEERS ARE KNOWN FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS LOGICALLY; BUT NOW A PROBLEM EXISTS FOR ENGINEERS THEMSELVES.  HERE’S OUR ANDY BARTH.

ANDY BARTH:  WELL MORE THAN HALF THE CAREERS OVER THE NEXT DECADE WILL REQUIRE A STEM EDUCATION; AND, THE NUMBER OF SCIENCE-RELATED POSITIONS IS PROJECTED TO INCREASE AT A MUCH FASTER RATE THAN THE AVERAGE JOB GROWTH.  AND WHILE WOMEN NOW ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN HALF OF ALL COLLEGE DEGREES EARNED, WHEN IT COMES TO CERTAIN FIELDS THEY STILL LAG FAR BEHIND.

IT TAKES A PINCH OF THIS, AND DASH OF THAT; WHILE THE RECIPE FOR CEMENT MAY BE MORE COMPLEX THAN SOME KITCHEN ITEMS, STUDENTS ENROLLED IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM AT OSU ARE DIGGING IN TO ALL THINGS CONCRETE.

HEATHER YATES:  THIS IS KIND OF THE CLASS THAT THEY TYPICALLY TAKE RIGHT BEFORE THEY GO OUT AND DO THEIR INTERNSHIPS, THEIR FIRST INTERNSHIPS.  IT PROVIDES A REALLY NICE STEPPING STOOL OR STEPPING STONE, SO THEY HAVE SOME SORT OF CERTIFICATION.

ANDY:  HEATHER YATES IS AN INSTRUCTOR IN THE CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM AND SAYS THERE IS A LACK OF WOMEN ENGINEERING PROSPECTS.

HEATHER:  UNIVERSITY WIDE WE’VE GOT MORE AND MORE FEMALES GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE, BUT IN THE STEM FIELD, IN SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, TECHNOLOGY, AND MATH, WE ARE SEEING THE SAME NUMBER OF FEMALES GRADUATE.  SO AS THE FEMALES INCREASE GRADUATING THROUGH COLLEGE, WE’RE NOT SEEING THE SAME INCREASE IN ENGINEERING.

ANDY:  AND THE NUMBERS ARE EVEN SMALLER IN YATES’ DEPARTMENT.

HEATHER:  THE SCARY THING IS, IS THAT ENGINEERING MIGHT SEE A 17.5% FEMALE GRADUATES, AND WE’RE GONNA SEE LESS THAN 10 IN TECHNOLOGY.

ANDY:  AND WHILE THE STUDENTS IN THIS CLASS ARE ALL MEN, RECENT GRADUATE JODIE MILLEMON SAYS ENGINEERING HAS MORE TO DO WITH OPPOTRUNITY THAN GENDER.

JODIE MILLEON:  I CHOSE ENGINEERING BECAUSE IT’S REALLY CHALLENGING AND I’M REALLY GOOD AT PROBLEM SOLVING AND SO I, IT SORT OF, THAT MIXED WITH CHEMISTRY, MIXED WITH MY SCIENCE AND MATH INTERESTS, REALLY IT WAS JUST THE PERFECT FIT FOR ME.

ANDY:  A FIT THAT HAS THE UNIVERISTY HOPING MORE WOMEN WILL RECOGNIZE.

NOW OF THOSE WOMEN ARMED WITH A STEM DEGREE, ONLY 26% WORK IN JOBS IN THAT FIELD, WHILE THE REMAINDER PURSUE OCCUPATIONS IN NON-STEM FIELDS; AND, MONEY DOESN’T APPEAR TO BE THE REASON.  THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT REPORTS WOMEN WITH STEM JOBS EARN 33% MORE THAN THEIR FEMALE PEERS IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.