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Do men get paid more in engineering than woman and if so, why is that?

Im a chemical engineering student in my senior year and my sister also wants to become an engineer so that she may have good paying job, but it requires a lot of sacrifice. Is it worth it for woman to become engineers even though they don't get paid as much as men? #college #engineering #engineer #job


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Sally’s Answer

If your sister is looking to become an engineer purely for the pay and not because she wants to become an engineer, she will not enjoy her job. If she wants to become an engineer because she has an enquiring mind, analytical and problem solving and wants to work in a learning environment, then engineering is for her.


Times have changed an awful lot in the last 25 years. When I was 20 (more than 25 years ago) I was refused an engineering apprenticeship even though my male colleagues were accepted on the same apprenticeship programme and I also did not earn as much money as my colleagues. I was not taken seriously and not considered.
25 years later, I am not only qualified in Civil Engineering, but my last role as a Highway Engineer, I had equal pay to my male colleagues on the same level as me, I had respect from my bosses and camaraderie with my colleagues, which is incredibly important for a woman in a male dominated industry.


http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/women-salaries-equal-outearn-men


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Ryan’s Answer

In general, yes men are paid more than women. It's not right, and it's not fair, but it's the current situation. However, that does not mean that your sister should not pursue a career in engineering. Although she may make less money than a male in her situation, she will almost certainly make more than most other career paths.


Additionally, the financial benefit is only one side to a career choice. If your sister is interested in engineering, it's probably for some of the reasons that many other engineers take on the challenge of engineering. As an engineer, your sister will have the opportunity to work with some of the greatest technologies and discoveries to date. Depending on the field she chooses, she may be involved in curing diseases, building architectural marvels, creating the latest and greatest in computational processors, or hundreds of other possibilities. Also, many who study engineering end up pursuing careers in other fields, while utilizing the strong skill-set developed during their engineering programs.


As a future engineer, I encourage you to work to create an equitable environment so that others will never need to ask this question. In the meantime, support your sister however you can.


Thank you for your very honest and thorough advice. You definitely helped me and my friends,, especially my sister who really like your advice Cristian G.

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Jason’s Answer

It's a bit sad that people promote ideas that women in engineering are not treated as equals. I've never found it to be true at any company I've worked in. We normally don't go around talking about pay, so most people that give an assertive answer are probably going off of headlines instead of their own experience. If this is a concern of yours, target large tech companies for your career. You'll find that not only is it fair, but the companies are actively recruiting women for better diversity as it leads to a better performing company on many levels of capabilities. There tend to be programs to help women build their careers, and companies invest in those programs. An example is WISE if you want to research. We want more women in engineering and you will not be paid unless.


My experience is my pay as a male has been on par with women of similar experience and capabilities in similar roles. Where national data and headlines go wrong is they lump everyone into big averages and then point at a difference without taking into account the details.


I can say that at large tech firms, there are not enough female engineers and they all want more. There are not enough because too few are in college engineering programs. As a graduating female, you will have your pick of jobs with competitive pay from the best companies in the country. Work hard for good grades, great projects, and you'll find you consistently have an advantage over male peers. I have never had a single person in 20+ years target a female for lower pay, and I have always personally targeted pay to meritocracy performance...and that means many women paid more than male counterparts.

You'll often find most companies are far more progressive now with long paid maternity leaves, and you come back into the same role making the same career progress. Many companies have flexibility in hours to support having families, and its all about the results....not the time scheduled in your chair at the office. These are factors that may become important later in life that have traditionally impacted women engineers.


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Nicole’s Answer

From my understanding, pay is very near equal. Depending on your negotiation skills, sometimes women will make more and sometimes men will. I remember being told at a career fair once that most of the women who aren't making as much as men simply didn't negotiate their salaries. There definitely are extra barriers women face in some engineering fields (women I know in construction deal with an immense amount of sexism with coworkers not repecting them), but overall I think the outlook is pretty positive. Most men and women I know are paid comparable salaries at the same companies. Entry-level, I think there is so much standardization equal pay is not something to worry about. Even if pay was unequal, it is not so much so that it should deter your sister from the education she wants to obtain. If it is not a passion though, then the pay will never be worth it. Good luck to you both!


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Wael’s Answer

In general, yes and for no reason. Pay equality for women is one of the promises for two of the presidential candidates for 2016.


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Ron’s Answer

Listen to Sally Barnett! Tell your sister to follow take the time to find & follow her passion.

Godspeed.


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