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Celebrating female engineers during Engineering Week 2017

Prodigy Finance - February 24, 2017

Celebrating female engineers during Engineering
Week 2017

Every year, we take a moment to celebrate the impact of engineering education across the globe. Schools, universities, and labs take part in Engineering Week activities designed to stimulate interest in engineering; many are especially geared towards young women and girls.

It seems to be working.

Although approximately 10 percent of working engineers in the United States are women, at least 20 percent of students pursuing engineering degrees in the country are female.

Those are broad numbers; many universities have seen an uptick in female engineering enrolment over the past several years. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report released reviews of universities a graduate level with women enrolments over 30 percent. That list included the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, Tulane University, and Tufts University.

Though not mentioned in the U.S. News & World Report article, 37 percent of Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering 2015 graduating students were women. By 2016, the number had risen dramatically. A fantastic 54 percent of the 2016 graduating class were female. That gave Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering the honour of being the first to graduate more women than men.

The change is obvious. At least, it’s tangibly felt by female engineering students at the school. Arushi Sharma, a Prodigy Finance-funded international student at Dartmouth, finds it exciting. 

Arushi Sharma

Arushi Sharma

“Seeing all-female teams in my class work on industry-relevant projects like clean coal technology and industrial IoT last term, I have certainly observed the inclusion of more women in this school and this field.”

Currently pursuing a Master of Engineering Management, she’s building off her undergraduate degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Lancaster University’s tie up in India. For her, choosing a programme rich in diversity wasn’t as important as the curriculum and approach. Dartmouth’s multidisciplinary approach was what initially attracted Arushi to this college.

“I am interested in the energy industry and how integration of renewables and emerging smart technologies are transforming people’s energy habits on a day-to-day basis.” She has grown to appreciate much more than Engineering Management during her time abroad.

“The most amazing aspect of this international experience has certainly been the interaction with my classmates from different cultures which has subsequently broadened my perspective. From working with my Norwegian and Nigerian classmates on a project to having dinner with a couple of my Mexican friends, I have gained a significant amount of insight about different heritages and lifestyles.”

The American Engineering Week is coming to a close, but international events are just kicking off. Global Day and the Global Marathon (8-9 March 2017) all seek to encourage educational growth across all divides.

Judging by the growth in female engineering graduates and the emphasis placed on the international experience at schools such as Dartmouth College, Engineering week is clearly something to celebrate. 

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