Social World Essay - SOCI 1001

Essay Title: The sociological perspective on the social world of women in engineering Course Name and Number: SOCI 1001 - C Student Name: Student Number: Submitted to: Date Submitted: Name of Teaching Assistant:
To be or not to be a woman in engineering, that is the question. Throughout our lives we must make many hard choices and these decisions are what shapes us into who we are today. It is at these crossroads where we get the option on which path to take, not knowing where it will lead us. As we transition from high school to university or college or whichever road it may be, we find ourselves at one of these important life crossroads. Whether you like to think about it as the door to adulthood or the start to the rest of our lives, this one small yet stressful decision will open many new possibilities. About a year ago, I was faced with this exact life changing crossroad. I spent months upon months thinking about what it is that I wanted to do, that I'm interested in and that I'm passionate about. Although I like to believe I'm quite artistic, I found myself excelling in things most girls didn't normally enjoy. I was good at maths and sciences. So when it came time to choosing my destiny, well what does a girl excelling in STEM do? She choses engineering. Through the analysis on gender in relation to the androcentric world, this is my experience being apart of the social world of a women in engineering. I wanted to start this journey correctly by describing the very beginning of emerging into this world. Growing up with two older brothers, I found myself with two role models I always wanted to be like. Ofcourse, they both went into engineering, and being the stubborn little sister, I felt like I had something to prove. My parents were always encouraging my brothers, but when it came to me they would always, and still do, say "if it is too hard, you can always go into the arts or communications". This essentially sums up the different standards and expectations given to boys versus girls. I've always been told that engineers are smart, they make a lot of money and they are considered a high status job, and so when my own parents doubted me it felt like they didn't believe I was smart enough for the job or that I was lesser person than my brothers.
Whenever I mentioned that I applied to Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering people would look at me shocked with wide eyes and say "woah you must be smart. That seems hard." I knew then that it was not going to be a walk in the park and well I was right. Engineering requires dedication, responsibility, organization and long nights of studying. School becomes our full time job. A job where you pay to work at and most days you need to work overtime. There were nights I found myself crying wondering if I can continue in this program because it can be so stressful and mentally draining but then I think about the opportunities I've been given. For a long time women were not even given the choice of an education. This was my chance to prove society wrong. Walking in orientation day as I gazed through the crowd of thousands of students I could see that the statistics were right. For every ten or so guys you would see one girl. This made me feel proud to represent my gender in a world where men supposedly dominate but it also made me nervous. For decades women were discouraged from engineering and science jobs and maybe this was how we have been socialized. To perceive women as minorities and incapable of higher education. As a result, I found myself in groups comprising of mainly males. I noticed that many of them didn't really take my input seriously, this may be because I'm a girl or due to my lack of confidence. Personally I noticed that I was never certain in my answers, knowledge or even myself. I posed what should have been statements as questions and I found that that was the main difference between most women and men. The pressure of doing well and intimidation of being wrong suppresses our confidence level. Although I may have been correct, the group members tend to believe the guy that is more certain of his answer even if it may turn out to be wrong. It is because of this that female engineers normally gravitate towards one another and have even
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