Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 1907-1915
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1397
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Women represent half of the global population, while women engineers represent 17% (in EU) and 23% (in USA) of the total number of engineers. These figures clearly show that there is an issue regarding the profession of engineer, which is traditionally seen as male specific. Corroborated with the increasing demand of engineers within both EU and USA, this issue could lead to serious problems which may affect the industrial development of the two entities.

Derived from its communist past, Romania has inherited a legacy of equality between men and women at professional level politics. Even if before 1989 it was used for propaganda purposes, the effects of this politics, more than 20 years after the collapse of the communist regime, lead to a percentage of 25% women engineers. It can be easily seen that this percentage is far greater that the EU average. However, the numbers of women between the total numbers of engineers had steadily decreased each year starting from 1989, even the total number of engineers has significantly increased in the last ten years. Moreover, the percentage of women engineers which hold leadership positions in the companies, is far smaller in Romania than the EU average.

This work present an approach of how this problem was addressed at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania at bachelor and master level. The evolution of the number of women within the number of graduates, between 20011-2014 is presented, for two bachelor study programs and two master study programs, at Engineering Faculty. Also, some measures taken to increase the number of women students and to make young people aware that engineering is not a male specific profession are presented in the paper. These measures included, among others, workshops where women engineers with outstanding achievements in their professional activity shared their experience to students and high-school graduates. Also, round tables and discussions with the main employers within Sibiu industrial area have shown to the young people the opportunities of an engineering career, for both young men and women. It was also demonstrated both by employers and employees that the labor market for engineers, at least at the level of Sibiu is indeed.

The results of the study had revealed that, with few exceptions, the measures were effective and led to an increase of the number of young women willing to pursue an engineering career. It is noticeable the fact that out of the four study programs, there are in the field of Manufacturing Engineering and one in the field of Mechatronics, filed which are traditionally regarded as having a strong male character, compared for example with Electrical or Computer Science Engineering, at least of the level of Romania, a fact which makes the results more significant.
Engineering, gender, profession.