Women in Engineering: How Far Have We Come?

20 Sep 2020 9:55 AM | Annmarie Uliano (Administrator)

Women in the workplace have come a long way in the past century. They’ve contributed to countless industries’ success, increasing from a general workforce of 8.2 million in 1920 to more than 78.6 million strong in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Although women have cemented themselves as staples in the teaching and nursing sectors, women in engineering still have a long way to go to welcome more women into this expanding field; the proof is in the numbers. 

Today, women make up more than 50% of all college-educated people in the workforce, yet the National Science Foundation (NSF) estimates that women only account for 28% of all science and engineering occupations. A separate DOL study shows an even greater gap between the genders, as just 16% of engineering workers in the STEM field are women. 

On top of employment divides between men and women in the engineering field, women are faced with significant discrepancy in pay. The wage gap between men and women in science and engineering fields is truly eye-opening, as men earned an average of $86,000 in 2015 compared to just $57,000 for women during that same year, according to the NSF. 

Clearly, there’s still significant ground to cover to promote women in the engineering industry. But where can women who are interested in becoming engineers and advancing to management positions turn to for added support? Let’s find out!

Start Bridging the Gap

With the engineering field projected to add nearly 140,000 new jobs between 2016 and 2026, the time is nowto put women in positions to succeed in this growing industry. An engineering society is the first step in connecting like-minded professionals with one another to advance their careers. Engineering societies enable members to…

  • Access a global network of engineering management professionals so women can explore employment opportunities and receive the latest updates on the engineering profession. 

  • Explore industry publications such as the Guide to the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge (EMBoK), Engineering Management Journal (EMJ), and Engineering Management Handbook. These resources are must-haves for women interested in the engineering field and elevating their careers. 

  • Take advantage of professional development opportunities such as International Annual Conference (IAC) and its Proceedings, webinars, and newsletters with best practices in the field. 

Don’t Forget Your Certifications 

In addition to networking opportunities, publications, and professional development resources, engineering societies also provide certifications that help women advance their careers. The Certified Associate in Engineering Management (CAEM) certification provides the groundwork for women to receive the necessary technology, financial resources, strategic planning, and operational knowledge to strengthen their employment credentials. 

Women who are looking to climb the corporate ladder to an engineering management position will benefit greatly from the Certified Professional in Engineering Management (CPEM) certification. The CPEM certification is designed for engineering professionals who have several years of execution, leadership, project, design, and management experience. With a CPEM certification, women will have the opportunity to showcase their technical operations management skills to further their engineering careers. 

But completing these certifications is just the beginning to honing long-term skills in the engineering field. Women must maintain their professional engineering management by keeping up with their recertifications. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste. 

Build a Better Future Today

The engineering industry is trending in the right direction, but there’s so much work left to be done to ensure women succeed in this expanding marketplace. The American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) is committed to helping build a brighter, more diverse future for the engineering field. If you’re looking for resources to refine your engineering knowledge to accelerate your career, or you’re searching for certifications, ongoing training, and professional development materials that will elevate you to a management position, ASEM has you covered.

ASEM is always looking for opportunities to promote diversity in engineering on a global scale. In addition to sponsoring STEM-related events such as the Annual STEM Capitol Hill Day, ASEM has joined other professional societies, most notably the Society of Women Engineers, to help women advance in the engineering field. 

The past 100 years have laid the groundwork for women to enter the workforce and succeed across countless industries. For STEM-related professionals, there are still barriers that we must be overcome. ASEM is committed to ensuring the next 100 years welcomes more women engineers into the market who are ready to make this industry their own. 

Contact us today to join a community of women who are committed to advancing the engineering field by furthering their career aspirations. Also, keep an eye out for more ASEM blogs in the future, as we tackle other topics regarding diversity & inclusion in engineering

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