Gender Quotas In A Male-Dominated Field Can Suck It

 YOU TELL 'EM! Via  GIPHY .com :)

YOU TELL 'EM! Via GIPHY.com :)

Hay everyone!

Hope this week's been good to you. (Whatever that means, right? Lol.)

i came across someone's Tinder bio that read somethin' like: No 'good vibes only.' I'm into folks who recognize a full range of emotions.

Connecting that to last week's post about navigating PTSD, I'm rekindling the old find-a-therapist-asap journey. More on that as it develops!

Excited to watch some growth on IG despite sloooowing down on posting. I'll be announcing a fundraiser event soon for my NYC-local friends and comrades 🖖 Stay tuned for those thangs and some website updates. I want to make it easier for ya'll to get in touch with me and contribute to this growing space!

w/ that said, keep scrolling for Calla Boyer's guest blog!

I was a Penn State student a few years back. Calla is finally approaching grad day 😬 An artistic engineer, Calla hopes to be hired into an environment that respects her skills, not one that needs to fill a we-have-a-woman-engineer quota.  *Amen to that.* Before I hush up, here's a link to our last guest post about Nelli loving her body as a Filinpx in America.

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 *Solving interesting equations.* Image via Calla Boyer!

*Solving interesting equations.* Image via Calla Boyer!

Some students decided they’d study engineering just before submitting college applications. I’ve known since the fourth grade. When I was little, it wasn’t about whether I wanted to be an engineer—it was which type I wanted to be.

I’m a senior at penn state studying Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and English. By last fall, I gave a TEDx Talk about what scientists can learn from artists.

(Here's a link to Calla's Tedx Talk.)

During my freshman year, I lived in an engineers-only community. And for two years, I’ve been a Resident Assistant for engineering students. I’ve worked in three biomedical research labs, and I was the President and Outreach Coordinator of my school’s Biotechnology Club. I’ve been instructional aides for intro biochemistry and advanced chemical engineering classes and a mentor for freshman engineering students.

In my experience, disciplines that focus on life science (e.g. biomedical, biological, and chemical) have more women enrolled than computer-based ones (e.g. computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering). If you’re in college, the ratio depends on the school you're attending. 

Calla Boyer's Engineering Presentation At Penn State University

According to the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, only 1/5 to 1/3 of engineering students are female. And with the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the largest professional engineering institution in the world, calling for gender quotas among employers, it seems like we’re making some progress. With this, you’d think one of the largest advantages I’ll have as an engineer is my gender—and maybe you’re right.  

I’ve been told many times that I’m set by being a woman and an engineer; that there’s a shortage of us, and even if we’re not great at what we do, we’ll be hired.

But, here’s the thing: I don’t want to be hired just because I was the only female candidate who applied. I want to be hired because I was the candidate they needed. I want to be hired because I offer a different perspective, leadership capabilities, curiosity, and a strong work ethic. Yet, because of this quota system, I’m afraid of companies hiring me just because I’m a woman. 

Gender quotas don’t solve gender inequality in engineering. In fact, it may create resentment within a team; men may feel like women were hired because of their gender more than skill. Engineers design everything from nuclear plants to artificial organs. I want these products to be safe, effective, and built by the best engineers on that team no matter how they identify. I don’t want to risk safety for gender quotasI want to work with people who are great at what they do. 

I believe we can only solve this problem if we tackle it right at the source: education. The school system needs to diminish this “art is for girls, science is for boys” ideology. 
 Calla owning that stage! Image via Calla Boyer.

Calla owning that stage! Image via Calla Boyer.

I want all young students to be confident that they’ll get engineering jobs. But this mindset needs to be taught while they’re first learning their letters, numbers, and how to communicate with people.

Today’s youngest engineering students started school nearly 13 years ago.  By 2005, we had only just finished mapping out the human genome.  We weren’t sure how old the universe was, and iPhones didn’t even exist. Instagram wouldn’t have launched for another half-decade.

with this in mind, the world can change (albeit slowly) in the span of a decade. It’ll take years, but it all starts with a change in attitude of what parents and teachers think their children are uniquely capable of—no matter their gender.

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Calla Boyer is an INTJ and a senior in Chemical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering and English minors at Penn State. Her philosophy is to use art in her engineering solutions, because she believes problems are best solved at the intersection of the left and right brains. 


I love guest blogs 😎 

Big ups to Calla for giving us some science know-how in this awfully right brain website! Lol. Interested in sharing your voice? I know. That's what this link is for, dur.

Again, keep your eyes on @bklynprose for my random blabber! Folks dug my queer Black History Month jams last month, but I fell off this month. *Emphasis on needing a mental pause* / *Emphasis on wanting to expand bklynprose into a fun, dynamic team!!! 

Drop a comment below or tap the black heart for dat love love love.

<3 talk sooon, 

~ Lati