Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sexism in STEM

From one of our Lovely Lady Agents in the Field:

"Anyhow, this is kind of random, but a lot of women who graduate with degrees in Chemical Engineering really aren't all that qualified in comparison to  men; even women with PhDs. I know this probably sounds sexist, which I know you don't care, but this is a serious problem. I think it's more sexist to make men do the real work to become Chemical Engineers, while many women can make excuses and do half of the work. 

Women who go through Chemical Engineering programs tend to get special treatment because there's so few women that go into that field. They are especially coddled if they happen to have female professors in the department (they tend to want to push more women through). They are held to different standards and routinely are passed through courses that they really shouldn't be passing. I've also personally seen women who literally do no work towards their thesis or dissertation research projects, but are able to ride on the coattails of the department or other Master's and Doctoral candidates to get through. Usually some poor bastard gets stuck doing their work for them. Often they can find a way to shirk their duties in terms of presenting their research to different conferences and committees. The abuse is rampant. I also knew a girl a few years ago who got a Master's, but she was able to earn it because her cousin did all of her homework and tutored her for every exam. Another classmate's father was a professor at the university. 

 So what you have happening is many women in Chemical Engineering are not qualified to be engineers and unfortunately, they have other people's lives on their hands when they get jobs. Also, they make the women who are very knowledgeable and serious engineers look bad as a result. I can't tell you how many utter moronic women you can meet at a Chemical Engineering conference. Although it is slightly better than at a Women's Studies conference, haha. It's really astounding considering they're in such a cerebral field. Take this for what you will, but this was my experience going through the program and my boyfriend's experience getting his Master's in Chem. Eng. a few years ago.  I can tell you with quite a bit of confidence that this issue is spread among most universities. Consider all the affirmative action and liberal BS that tend to originate in universities and then is applied to their programs...it's really horrible and also in the long run, doesn't work in anyone's best interest.

Now my experiences have been a bit different.  The women I knew in STEM fields earned it, but this was over 15 years ago AND I was not an engineering major.  Additionally, I knew women in the capacity of student, not job hunter, applicant or employee.  Mayhaps some of our Engineering Deputized Economists can fill us in as to just how common this is.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

google Title IX STEM and you will see that the White House and numerous feminist groups are pushing to drive more women into Engineering by quotas. They will never get enough women into engineering so to make the quota they will have to cut men from getting those degrees. I say this as a Mechanical Engineering Senior who is a male, no good will come from this.
John

Anonymous said...

This theme also applies to the work place. Women get hired and promoted at much higher rates, then their numbers represent. Employers in all fields practice this procedure. In fact, most have open policies of promoting and hiring more women. Most feminists agree with these policies, because they are correcting a past discrimination.

This practice may have offended you in university. In the working world, you are going to see this same policy. And this time, the stakes are even higher.

Carnivore said...

Interesting article. My experience, over three decades, computer engineering, hardware & software development is that there are much fewer women who can cut it. Or, to turn it around, I've seen more women who couldn't keep up vs. men who couldn't keep up.

In college (long time ago), I did know one woman who was exceptionally brilliant as a student. At that time, there were very few women in the engineering school to begin with and the few that were there were average.

I have the opportunity on occasion to interview experienced candidates for openings (not new grads). In general, native born women do not impress. The immigrant (typically Indian and Chinese) women, especially if they already have experience in the USA, are reasonably sharp.

Eric B. said...

My wife started college 18 years ago studying chemical engineering. 50% of the students in her entry level classes were female. This was definitely an anomaly amongst the various engineering fields. In my mechanical engineering classes, it was more like 85% male / 15% female. (I went to school in Michigan where the automotive industry is king. Thus the emphasis was automotive and I've not meet very many "car gals".) I never found out what the percentage of chemical engineering graduates were though as she changed to biochemistry after a year and a half.

Anonymous said...

Chemical engineering is the hardest one. I suspect women go into it with just "something to prove" and no merit to back it up.

Anonymous said...

Odd that the field here is chemistry. I am a control technician (instrumentation/electrical/computers)in a nuclear power plant. We have three different trade groups, control maintenance, mechanical maintenance, and a chemistry lab. About half the dozen or so chem techs are women. There are 2 female control techs (both quite competent) out of about 100 and I don't think there is a single female mechanic. I don't know why women are so heavily represented in chemistry but almost non existent in the other groups. Just an observation. - minuteman

Anonymous said...

Mechanical engineering student here. The women in the program are a distinct minority and all of them are real straight-shooters and go-getters. University of Akron, OH.

COOLSTUD said...

http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/student-loan-debt-crisis-womens-issue-heres-why-195400799.html

Hay captain you need to see this, this article explains why women need to be smarter about college. I told a female friend of mine about this.

This isn't because of sexism, it's because of personal choice. men tend to major in fields that pay more - math and sciences, while women tend to major in fields that pay less - arts and humanities.

They can't major in english and then complain that you don't make as much as an engineer.

James said...

In Australia at the moment it's very difficult to find internships as a student and jobs when you graduate, and being a female puts you at a tremendous (unfair) advantage. Most of the females in my chem eng course are samrt and aren't totally lazy, but they're also well behind a lot of the males. They will however stand a better chance at getting a job.

pchappel said...

Well... When I was in engineering school, there was the open secret that females in the program were graded at a different standard. Minority females could not under any conditions be failed... Now, I don't know what happened in the real world, I went into IT rather than Mech Engineering :-)... In IT, it is more the long hours required and conditions that are the things that weed folks out. There ARE some women who succeed, but overall they are the ones who choose career over having a family... Well, until you get to a University :-), well outside of the real world...

Anonymous said...

Long ago in engineering school I was a beta orbiter for a married Chinese cutie, and I helped her WAY too much with coursework that was simply over her head.

She graduated, worked as a hardware tester for a few years, then tried to have a baby in her 30s. After many fertility treatments, she carried a baby almost to term, and it died. One year later, she killed herself.

I plan to teach my daughter enough math and science to converse with engineers by age 16 and be married to one by 20. No college or career for her, I want some engineer grandchildren!

Anonymous said...

This doesn't just apply to engineering degrees - but ALL degrees. I've seen girls rack up college degrees like cake. They never have to study it seems, and because they never have to study, they can at times work multiple jobs while in college - further compounding the advantage they have over men at least in terms of finance and work experience.

Without a doubt, the best way to improve that GPA, is to have boobs. . .

kurt9 said...

I work in engineering. There are very few women in my field. The few that are tend to be as competent as the men.

Applying title IX to engineering programs will only destroy them, especially at a time of increased international competition. Conversely, it will create a market for non-U.S. engineering programs for U.S. students.

Anonymous said...

I have to second that. Quality of women in STEM fields (at unis) is on average lower then quality of men.
But then comes the real problem. The same women after entering work place get promoted disproportionally to their numbers (much more).
And I am telling it from Eastern European perspective. Cannot imagine how bad it looks in the US of A.

William said...

My experience is that young female engineers quit in order to have babies and very few return.

Those that do return to a middle management position where they can do little harm to the technical edge.

Also, there is no crying in industrial construction. There is also no mercy for people who manage projects that lose money. These two facts tend to prune the bush of dead wood in a real hurry.

Can't speak to universities today. When I went through there were no females who managed to get an undergrad degree in mech. All of them washed out in second year.

Bob Wallace said...

One of my friends has a Masters in Econ. He's seen incompetent women hired before him. He sat in two of their classes and said they made math mistakes on the blackboard.

He's also seen incompetent Africans hired before him. Not American blacks. Africans.

Rowan said...

Two girls in my Computer Science graduating class. Neither could program. Male professors fawned over them for 50 minutes, then gave a quick 10 minute lecture when they realised where they were.

Both went to work for large banks upon graduation.

Working on my own software company now, no chicks allowed.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for liberal groups to start accusing STEM of being pro-rape or something.

Maybe that's why liberals had a crazy reaction over somebody like Todd Akin? He tried to link science (whether true or untrue) to pregnancy from rape?

And he was on the House Science Committe for Space, Science and Technology?

Dan said...

It's not just chemical engineering....this phenomenon is
present in other STEM areas of endeavor...probably in all of them.

In healthcare there are a lot more female doctors now than in the past. And I've been in the field for 35+ years. I know plenty of doctors who shouldn't be allowed to touch people but practice all the time. As a percentage though more females than males fall in to this category. Many more of them lack common sense, clinical skills and the ability to look more than two steps into the future. As a result the doctors who order by far the most diagnostic tests are usually female.....or foreign.

robert said...

Same in Canada. I'm a geologist and have seen many many girls hired by large oil companies and mining companies in lieu of competent males. Odd to see because women are generally more risk averse than males and geology really boils down to making a decision on a prospect that could make or break a company.

lelnet said...

Honestly, the female engineers I've worked with have been, on average, at least as good as the male ones. But that's mostly because, at the level where I typically work, it's been put-up-or-shut-up time for at least a few years. The incompetent ones (of either sex) get weeded out, and I never see them except occasionally as hopeless candidates in job interviews.

College offers a lot of opportunities for distortion and favoritism. In the real world, either your stuff works or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, you won't be an engineer for long.

Anonymous said...

"I'm waiting for liberal groups to start accusing STEM of being pro-rape or something."

You're 26 years too late:

"[Sandra] Harding referred to Newton's Principia Mathematica as a "rape manual" in her 1986 book "The Science Question in Feminism"...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Harding