Is Aerospace Engineering Suitable for Women?

HI, I'm Tasnia from Bangladesh. I'm in high school now and I'm good at math and science. I'm thinking about doing a B.S in aerospace engineering in Canada, but I'm confused if it is a suitable job for women. Is it difficult for women AE to get job in any airline company since it is a male dominating sector? Do women face difficulties in this sector? I will be thankful if you please answer me. Thank you.
posted by Tasnia , Bangladesh on March 30, 2012

Answer by Crystal Harris

I am very happy to hear that you are good in math and science, the skills you develop in those subjects will be of great benefit in the Aerospace industry. A Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering is a great foundation to the world of Aviation. In this industry the basics for success start with a good foundation regarding aerospace, patience, skill, and determination. All of those qualities are usually embodied by women. This makes aviation a natural fit for any woman if she chooses to study the profession. The difficulty does not come so much as getting the job as it does to keep the job. All women face some challenges in any male dominating sector. The key is to have the mindset that you are qualified for the job and can perform any task as well or better than anyone else. If you find yourself not equipped for something, learn what you do not know, and try it again. Remember the only chance you will get, is the chance you make for yourself. Just for reference I also showed your question to some of the people I work with. (See below) - Crystal Responses from colleagues at Boeing: In the 14 years of being an engineer; I personally have never experienced difficulty being a woman in the aerospace engineering field. Once I witnessed a woman who wanted to get special treatment because she was female. (She didn't last long because she refused to go to the aircraft). I feel that if a woman doesn't see a difference between male/female in the way she should be treated, then she will do fine. If one does their job, they are fine. Thanks. - Francis Today doors for women are opening up in every field. Don't give up on your dreams because of another opinion. It may not come easy and you may have to work harder but go for it. When I started in this field I would be the only woman and minority for years but now there are many women of every nationality, follow your dreams. - Linda No, it's not hard for women to get in the field. Because it is so male dominated, a majority of companies are looking to diversify their pool of employees by looking for qualified women engineers and engineers from different cultures to fill open job postings. During a mentor session on site with UW, one of the female students asked this same question to one of the directors from the Everett site. He stated it had been difficult to hire more women because he hasn't had many applicants. That definitely needs to be changed so I encourage you to seek that AE degree and get involved with technical organizations like SWE, SAE and/or AIAA to seek out those companies that are looking to diversify their employee base. - Stephanie I can't speak for other companies, but it seems to me that women are doing quite well at Boeing. - Vern It doesnt matter to me if an engineer is a man or woman, what matters is that they know what they're doing. I admire anyone that can make it through all of the math and other courses to get that degree. - Shelby Is it difficult for women AE to get job in any airline company since it is a male dominating sector? It is not any more difficult for women to get a job than for a man. Some of our best engineers are female. Do women face difficulties in this sector? Everyone faces problems do not let roadblocks stop you from reaching your goals. If being an aircraft engineer is your dream then go for it. - Rodrick I think that there will be challenges in any male dominated field. However, getting hired into aerospace engineering is not one of them. The quantity of women who excel in math and science and go on to pursue related degrees is very small. The corporate world is ever-changing and the need for a diverse workforce has been realized. With that being the case, increasing all types of diversity including work history, background, sex, race, etc is a priority, especially in engineering. I work for Boeing, one of the largest Aerospace companies, and I would strongly recommend that you pursue a degree in aerospace from an ABET-accredited university. With the corporate culture changing, it is much easier for a woman to gain employment in engineering. I would recommend that you seek out internships and co-ops from engineering companies in your sophomore and junior years of college to significantly improve you hiring chances immediately after college. - Magnificent