All that you wanted to know

It Is All I Ever Wanted To Say.... :)

I had posted this as a response to a question in Quora: 'Why are majority of mechanical engineers men and not women?'

This was my reply:

When I read this I literally had this voice in my head "Been there, done that".

Yes, it is very true that women do not opt mechanical engineering in large numbers. Frankly I met some 10 + girls among the many places I went during the course of my engineering.

Though the world is very evident about why girls do not choose engineering, due to the 'strong work', 'fear of being hurt', 'less number of girls' and all, rarely have people wondered the reason behind the other half's choice. 

First of all, Let me tell you one thing, passion must be above fear for any person, and in any field. Like any girl can even fear even from being a software engineer, "OMG! IF my system shuts down automatically, all are going to look at me!" It is the same with us, if we aren't able to put the effort to pull off any mechanical task, we'll be mocked. The 'we' I mean is the mechie and auto girls. One has to get over this fear, which is very difficult frankly, That too knowing that you would be the only girl, with the reluctance and hesitation in mind, it is even more difficult. Oh and that too, needless to say first day in college all of us are nervous, and first day and only girl for four years- Hell no!

Secondly, yes, no clean chit record of mine. Got hurt a lot. My parents used to send me bandage every semester to hostel!! One sees the potential to get hurt, but never sees how much you can learn from it. Granted there is a possiblity that you slip while you walk, does that mean you quit walking because of the fear?! No. And let me tell you one more thing, you might be the only girl, but there are going to be persons with you- Men. Seeing you bleed with a cut, they wouldn't scream and say 'Hey we knew girls aren't fit!' They help you more than anyone. They would understand and be by your side, professionally. And again, the toughest tasks in mechanical are always team work. Stop imaging like a whole optimus prime is given to you for dismantling!! Even if you dismantle a small differential unit or any component for that matter, you would need help no matter whether it is a guy or girl. You learn along with men, they aren't geniuses either, You learn together.

People never think about the respect you earn, while you overcome every small obstacle that comes your way, especially from your co-workers. At the end of the day, it encourages you even more to go ahead in doing what you want to do. Nobody speaks about this. I don't understand how earning money has become more than this- you speak about the job prospects of women, not how much they are respected. It actually makes you feel good, when your team mates/ colleagues tell you that not everyone would follow the path you chose and they are proud knowing you. I still cherish the moments when I got such appreciation. :)

Oh and the perception that you need to be physically tough to be in mechanical is also not true. Agreed that if you are strong you can be better at handling tough things/equipments, but not necessary always. Even if you aren't able to, you could always ask for help. It just requires your asking. 

True that, some of the co-workers also feel that the female counterparts are being given undue advantage because of their gender. They don't have to wait for anything, they are given 'special attention'. You guys have no idea how much we gave up for being in there. Stop complicating things. It happens in every department, just because one women takes advantage of that,doesn't mean all of us are such. There are people(women) whom I met, who are so much more than their counterparts at work. Give them the credit, when you know they deserve it.

One other primary reason why women don't prefer mechanical engineering is Menstrual cycle. It is tough handling the pain at times. And heavy physical work might complicate it, but how often are we going to run away saying this. Women have entered all professions, which are more physically laborious than this and they are fine. If they can do, why can't you?

Society- I do not even say about the external world. Even the other people at college, your batch mates -look at you as if you are from alien land. Those looks you get as they stare at you in labs or cafeterias with a gang of guys, ranges from envy to disgust to respect to anger to what-not. Name it and I'll tell you how I got it! 
It is rare that they show immediate respect, some might not even give in the long run. The newly running stupid thought about women being in mechanical to spend time with men and such stuff. Oh and don't tell me I'm spinning bullshit. Five years now, still remember how I heard this for first time. Clearing the air, I would confess we go for work, never anything more than that. Such thoughts make women, think again about her choice. 

One of the most common reasons why women avoid mechanical engineering is this- what would my life partner think of me when he knows I studied with so many guys? I do not want to go about relationships in here - but just one question- If he isn't even able to see your passion for work, then how good is he as a life partner? How long are you going to change your interests to appeal someone who has or is yet to come in your life?

Support from parents is also rare. All daughters are daddy's princess- nobody would want to send their girl child to a place where she would be alone with new people of the opposite gender (Atleast at the start of college). There is a subtle instilled fear, trust must come to rescue.

And women loathe loneliness- The fact that you can't have a peer group with whom you can discuss guys, ask about the latest shopping plan or fashion trend- do a lot of group pics and post it on facebook - with your school guys asking- 'Hey why don't you introduce your new college mate?' and all is never going to happen. In the facebooking and Instagramming world- this is a criteria that makes them run away from mechanical. Do not disagree, I know people who have asked me to think about this when I made my decision. 

And last note, college is about fun they say- the fun should be based on what you learn and not with whom you learn. 
My personal note? Not even mechanical, Automobile engineer and female- The best decision I ever took in my life. Recommending the same to all the prospective female engineers.


Every time these high school results are published, I find a particular sector of people speaking against engineering. I just wanted to pen a few thoughts of mine down.
Definitely no, and in fact I guess even the others would agree to it at some point of time. Engineering is a popular choice frankly. This popularity which should have been a boon, became a bane. Lots of people opt for engineering at the end of schooling leading to increase in the number of engineers overall. Rightly pointed out, they end up in IT sector and criticise that engineering didn't give them the right jobs. 
Agreed, but was engineering your cue card?
This reminds me of my photography skills.  I don't take  a proper snap even with my galaxy series phone. How would it be if I said none should take up photography because it ruins one's life. That's madness, ain't it? Right then stop badmouthing engineering too. It is my passion. Saying that it would ruin people's life, is hurting my belief. Look and I don't look at photographers and badmouth photography. I respect them because they can do stuffs that I simply can't. Can't we expect the same in return?
And you know what? Anywhere except India, say that you are an engineer. People would look at you with such respect. That respect is because they know the fact that Indians are good at mathematics and engineering needs maths. The reputation stands true when you see the pool of scientists and researchers all over the world.
In the right institutions, you do see people like they show in TV shows. The nerds, who do coding, sketch vehicles, cry in frustration when their ideas fail, laugh in happiness when they get their outputs, who brag about the articles read on the internet. Lastly, who visualise a world, that is way beyond the understanding of a non-science person. In the right places who can see people 'play' with science. In the right places.
And by the way when they speak of passion at the end of doctoral speech, or any such event, do you think they are just repeating a classic story? Definitely no! People who spend four-five years of their life, away from their homes, doing nothing except think about a single topic, an issue or a problem? You can only do that if you love the field. 
Or else you will suffer.
Putting a bigger story in a shorter sense, yes the number of engineers in India is high. There is no scope unless you are absolutely perfect.
But is that what you want to do? Do you find any other loophole that can showcase your passion to the world?
If yes, go for it.
If not, then follow the same way. Join the popular college, take the course that's your passion. Remember everyone walks on the same path: Thus what you do makes a difference, not where you walk.
Lastly, Engineering is NOT a scapegoat! Be one or don't be, we don't have to beg anyone for this profession, we have surplus, thanks.  But please do not bad mouth Engineering. Our work is our religion, we worship it.
Praying that true passionate budding engineers do not get misguided,
A passionate Automotive Engineer.
That's the Best of all I am, Best of all that I will be.

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