More girls take to engineering studies

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More girls are taking to engineering studies these days. The enrolment of girls in technical institutes in the country has gone up from 22% in 2002 to 125% this year, with most preferring system engineering and information and communication, says a survey by an industry body.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (Assocham), which conducted the survey, said the emergence of the knowledge economy has motivated more girls to acquire engineering skills.

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The survey was carried out under the Social Development Foundation on 'Rising Trend of Women towards the Technical Education' and covered over 20 engineering schools, including the National Institutes of Technology (NITs).

'Their views were sought and it was discovered that females' participation in acquiring engineering skills since 2002 onwards was more towards system engineering followed by information and communication, environmental and electrical engineering,' the survey says.

However, aerospace and material engineering are not preferred by women in India.

Releasing the survey report, Assocham President Sajjan Jindal said: 'System engineering seems to be extremely popular in young females as their intake in this branch by various engineering institutions has gone up to over 40% while it was less than 18% six years ago.'

According to Jindal, women have been bettering their male counterparts in system engineering.

'The important motive to pursue engineering among the men as well women are the career opportunities and hopes for good salaries and job security that the profession offers,' says the survey.

The survey said 90% of women engineers are motivated by their academic performance and 71% for career as well as good salary prospects that influence them to opt for engineering.

However, in case of men, 79% of them opt for engineering by their academic performance as well as challenges that the work brings in.

The survey said 97% of male engineers and 92% of female engineers are employed, almost all of them as engineers. However, the unemployment rate among females is found to be 3% due to their inability to pursue careers in engineering after their marriage.

The survey points out that 71% of male engineers take active part in corporate management but hardly 29% of women get involved in management activities.

'Females have lesser involvement in management because of the time factor and also that the management has faith in their male counterparts for their consistent longer hours of work,' said the survey.

The survey says 55% of men and 26% of female engineers feel they are equally treated in their organisation. The perception of disparity was particularly evident among certain professions, particularly architecture and manufacturing, which contain largely business-related disciplines.

The survey also says that most of the women engineers consult their parents, especially father, in order to pursue a career in engineering. The impact of parents on women is stronger than on men (86% of women compared to 24% men). 

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