Inspiring the next generation of female engineers

The engineer of the future is a female. I like that statement. It expresses that we need diversity among engineers. We know we also need many more engineers in the future. So we should use the other 50%! See also this blogpost (in Dutch). It is not easy, however, to study as a female engineering student. See also the TEDxBrainport talk of two of my former female students.

The video below is a brilliant TEDx talk, by the female engineer Debbie Sterling. She also expresses that it is far from easy to be a minority at the university.

Debbie Sterling is founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company out to inspire the next generation of female engineers. She has made it her mission in life to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math.

One thought on “Inspiring the next generation of female engineers

  1. Very interesting talk indeed. I have two remarks that would, possibly, make this post more complete.

    (a) Inspiring the next generation of female engineers is not the only step (although is an important one) to be done for a gender-wise balanced working environment. Besides encouraging young females to pursue technical studies or focus on keeping women in engineering fields, we should also focus, or even train ourselves on avoiding gender stereotypes. As Eleanor Tabi Haller says, in this wonderful talk “what we underestimate, we under-utilize”. Identifying what these behaviors and activities are, made consciously or sub-consciously, and eliminating them as much as possible form our behavior can create a more welcoming and time-resistant environment for potential female candidates.

    (b) For a long time, study programs in science and engineering were designed by men, according to their own performance standards, preferences and desires. Thus, overall good (for males). Perhaps, to draw the attention of women candidates, these programs should be reconsidered, changed, developed or advertised differently – capturing also desires of women.

    For quick effects, all these efforts must be made in a parallel manner and at multiple age-levels. Positive results will definitely come.

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