My daughter started at the University of South Florida this week and a story she told me last night made me sad, very sad. Her roommate is a bright young lady who has chosen to major in engineering. With my strong feelings for the Women in Technology group within our SQL Server community, this made me very happy to hear about her desire to enter a STEM profession. However, after two days of classes, I was told that she has already been harassed and ridiculed for her choice of major in the predominately male classes. At this point I really do not know the specifics nor does that matter. The fact remains that there was enough of a problem that she told my daughter about it. That makes me angry.
I am thinking the next time that I go back to campus, I will do my best to encourage this young lady with some personal stories of strong, courageous women in technology that I know. Until then I told my daughter to encourage her and to let her know that I am rooting for her and to not give up because our STEM professions need her, our society needs her, and we need her.
Posted on August 28, 2013, in Career Advice and tagged WIT. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
I’m not an engineer, but I was a major in a predominantly male field in college. Let your daughter’s friend know I’ve been there, and have a teenaged daughter m’self. She can gripe to me on Twitter if she likes, @MidnightDBA or @JenniferMcCown.
I will relay that information, thanks Jen.
Harassed and ridiculed by who?
It is my understanding that it was from fellow students.
This is disturbing and I thought the world had long ago moved on from this kind of crap. I can say that at my school there was a noticeable population of female engineering students. I never heard of any kind of harassment except, perhaps, getting very awkwardly asked out by the male engineering students.