ENGR 482 – Engineering Ethics
1st Response Paper
Modernization: Friend or Foe?
Engineering Gender Trends in Qatar
By Karim Yacout
Aggie Honor Code
“On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work”
For many years gender discrimination between men and women in Engineering has been the converse of many authors and researchers; each trying to search for a reason for its continuation and possible ways to decrease the existing gender gap. The purpose of this paper is to propose a new approach to understand and limit gender discrimination in Engineering. The approach consists of three components if they are present ...view middle of the document...
Women at that time were mainly housewives that raised their children and managed her household. After the discovery of Oil, Qatar’s economy boomed rapidly till it became one of the richest countries in the world. In the process, the demand for engineering jobs increased due to wide investment of engineering companies. This lead to an increase in salaries and wages, which in turn led to an increase in female participation. With the presence of more women in engineering fields, they become more accepted which leads to the decline of discrimination.
In retrospect, Qatar’s example proves that a strong economy can lead to the diminish of gender gap in engineering but economic growth is just not enough, which introduces me to my next component “Culture”.
I strongly believe that before comparing gender gaps in engineering, a person must first understand the culture and the society where they take place. Supporting my argument, Sandra and Anne state based on Herrick’s study that to understand gender differences we must realize them from the specific cultural site in which they take place (17).
When analyzing gender gaps in Engineering, we narrow it down to the physical interactions between men and women, and the behavior of these interactions but according to Herrick’s argument “ ...concentrating on male or female interactional styles can lead to stereotypes that limit the range of interactional strategies open to individuals” (18). We need to uncover where these manners arise and the key is to understand the culture’s influence.
Using our case study, Qatar’s culture is influenced by Islamic Bedouin Arabic traditions. In the past, these traditions included the segregation of women and men in public areas, women usually were not educated and if they did they needed the consent of their parents. Qatar was not the ideal place for women to become engineers, but as time progressed and Qatar started to develop, some of these customs started to change. The introduction of technology brought with it many western ideas that were not common to the region. Slowly these ideas became diffused into the society, desegregated schools became common, interactions between men and women were normal. Adding up all these influences created an opportunity for women to seek engineering degrees, and ultimately become successful engineers. The more involvement of women leads to decline in gender inequality.
The last component to decreasing gender gap in engineering is opportunity. As I previously mentioned before increasing the participation of women in engineering jobs is a factor in helping eliminate gender gap but how will women get involved if they are not provided with the workspace or the education needed to function as professional engineers. Based on data gathered from Maura Jenkins and Robert Keim, they demonstrate that on average, the graduation/retention rates and GPAs of female students are higher than those of the male students...