There is a very low number of women taking university Courses in science, technology and engineering, despite efforts to encourage more women into these fields. The engineering profession remains a male preserve in particular and a recent US survey reveals that out of the combined workforce within the engineering professions, women make up less than 11%. There are many reasons for this. Some women are just not attracted to working in these areas and do not understand that there are opportunities open to them in what has always been perceived as male professions.
Most girls are not encouraged at school so know little about what the work entails or what options to take. Others are discouraged by the image of working in technology and engineering and with a shortage of women role models, the perceived negative associations of these professions is further reinforced.
Within the small number of women actually taking courses in engineering and technology, it has been found that many students come from families with an engineering or technology background. Even in these cases, although the students may have received parental approval and support at home, the overriding experience seems to have been a distinct lack of encouragement from school.
Although efforts are being made to encourage women into science, engineering and technology courses, it seems that there is a long way to go before women make up even a sizeable minority