Women in Engineering – My Honest Opinion

  • Post category:Business

Are businesses employing people at the detriment of their company just to tick boxes?

This may be a controversial opinion, but I am going to be honest with you.  I cringe whenever I have a conversation about Women in the Workplace, especially about Women in Engineering. The majority of my professional career I have worked in the Engineering Industry.  Some would say this industry is a “Man’s World” and the simple fact is, YES, there are typically more men that work in Engineering than Women!

Does that mean I need to fight for more women to be in Engineering? No.

Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against women working in Engineering, in fact, I truly believe that women are an asset as we bring a different mindset because we think differently.  But what I do disagree with is using the women that do work in Engineering as poster girls.   What I mean by that is sometimes it feels that the world is so politically correct that we need to ensure we tick every single box.  So, any Engineering marketing must include a woman on the image.  Would you believe that I have been asked to stand in a picture just because I was a woman in the business, regardless of the fact that I wasn’t even part of the project.  It’s Craziness! Imagine what the people that were part of the team though about this?!

Honestly, I work hard every day in my job and I want to be respected because of that, not the fact that I am a woman.  I don’t want to be paraded around because I look a little different to the men.  If you want to attract more women to the workplace, then target them in a different way and let me get on with the job that you employed me to do.  

I am sure this works the opposite way in other sectors, maybe there is a big push on promoting male nurses? The fact is that is that there are less woman interested in Engineering than men, just the same way that there are less men inclined to work in more “maternal” roles such as childcare and nursing. Whilst we can try and get them more interested through education, many of them just aren’t inclined that way. 

I just don’t see why I should be treated any differently.  The only difference between a man and a woman in a workplace should be the toilets that they use (unless unisex!).  Other than that, we are all there to do the same job.  The truth of the matter is, I don’t really care what gender I work with, provided they can do the job at hand.  

It has crossed my mind that maybe companies go overboard with political correctness to their own detriment.  If you feel you need to have more of a specific type of person working at your company; women, men, ethnicity, disability whatever it may be, are you employing these people purely for that reason? You should be employing people because they add value, not tick boxes.  If you’re just ticking boxes, are you actually getting the skills you need, or are you employing at the detriment of your own company?

I worked hard every single day to get where I am today.  I didn’t do that because I am a woman.  I did it because I have pride in myself, I work hard and I want to achieve!