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Why aren't there a lot of girls pursuing a MFE degree?

I saw the columbia pics and there are very few girls. Is it because girls in general don't like math and science? Actually, I see very few girls in engineering as a whole. Why??
 
Rather than propagating unfounded sexist assumptions about the reasons behind (and looks of!!) women pursuing/not pursuing such careers, you might be better served seeking out women who have succeded in these roles.

Many of the women I've encountered, both working as an engineer (Mechanical/Automotive) and on Wall Street have been fascinating to speak to and incredible role models. This is especially true of those found in senior positions.

Without strong support to pursue the unknown, often times, girls are taught to seek out the path of least resistance and are not exposed to such careers.

How many of your mothers and grandmothers completed quantitative degrees and worked in quantitative field? Did your fathers who worked as engineers and your grandfathers before them encourage your sisters to follow in their footsteps? Were the girls in your programs, at times, made to feel uncomfortable, berated, or harassed because of their gender (or looks)?

From my experiences, it is an uphill battle where you are left in a constant state of having something to prove. For every olive branch extended, be it for my looks or my gender, five doors are closed in my face for the same reasons. Some women thrive on the challenge, many are turned off by it.

@Andy Nguyen I would love to see some Quantnet interviews from some of these "pioneer" female quants... I know there are many out there!

http://www.85broads.com/ has "Jam Sessions" where they invite prominent female Wall Street executives to speak to members. Asking such questions in their Q&A sessions may be a more fruitful pursuit (and the aftermath to posting such comments could be highly entertaining to watch)
 
Without strong support to pursue the unknown, often times, girls are taught to seek out the path of least resistance and are not exposed to such careers.

Sigh. I know this is going to blow up in my face, but... I find comments like this rather tedious and unfounded. Honestly, taught to see out the path of least resistance??

In a day and age where the USA has recently had a female presidential candidate, I'm getting kind of tired of being white, middle class and male and apparently that makes me responsible for everyone else's destiny and guilty of making their lives difficult.

How many of your mothers and grandmothers completed quantitative degrees and worked in quantitative field? Did your fathers who worked as engineers and your grandfathers before them encourage your sisters to follow in their footsteps?

Exactly how many generations of established female engineers and quantitative ancestors do you need before you are able to get out, and make something of yourself, of your own accord? Disadvantaged people have been overcoming their difficulties for ... well... ever. That's the point... if someone tells you you can't, prove them wrong. Anything worth doing is worth working for.

Were the girls in your programs, at times, made to feel uncomfortable, berated, or harassed because of their gender (or looks)?

No.

The first couple of replies to this post are admittedly foolish, but please. I know of a single instance of a woman being disadvantaged because of her gender (specifically, the heavily male dominated mining industry), so I know it still DOES happen. But I'm against ANYONE being extended an olive branch solely because of their gender, and having met and worked with strong, excedingly competant women at the highest levels in several different organisations now, I am cautiously but generally dubious that gender is any significant barrier to achievement, at least in Western society.

Now, I'm going to back away carefully, before the fireworks begin...
 
Sigh. I know this is going to blow up in my face, but... I find comments like this rather tedious and unfounded. Honestly, taught to see out the path of least resistance??

In a day and age where the USA has recently had a female presidential candidate, I'm getting kind of tired of being white, middle class and male and apparently that makes me responsible for everyone else's destiny and guilty of making their lives difficult.

Exactly how many generations of established female engineers and quantitative ancestors do you need before you are able to get out, and make something of yourself, of your own accord? Disadvantaged people have been overcoming their difficulties for ... well... ever. That's the point... if someone tells you you can't, prove them wrong. Anything worth doing is worth working for.

No.

The first couple of replies to this post are admittedly foolish, but please. I know of a single instance of a woman being disadvantaged because of her gender (specifically, the heavily male dominated mining industry), so I know it still DOES happen. But I'm against ANYONE being extended an olive branch solely because of their gender, and having met and worked with strong, excedingly competant women at the highest levels in several different organisations now, I am cautiously but generally dubious that gender is any significant barrier to achievement, at least in Western society.

Now, I'm going to back away carefully, before the fireworks begin...

I completely agree.
 
Because of affirmative action, don't women nowadays actually have the advantage in areas that were traditionally male dominated? Men are competing against a much larger pool of candidates. I have even seen a few cases of highly qualified white males being turned down by major universities and corporations in favor of less qualified females and minorities. So being a female in a technical field is a pretty damn good thing.
 

SYau

Ting Ting
I had the pleasure to work with 2 brilliant mathematicians in my bachelor studies. One went on to get her PhD in Mathematics, the other is in neuroscience. While women who pursue math/sciences are disporportionately small, the ones who do are as dedicated. My guess is that it has to do with interest more than anything else.
 
Now, I'm going to back away carefully, before the fireworks begin...

I'll be gentle ;)

Aside, I applaud you for stepping up and refuting my comments. Its refreshingly unconvetional!

Sigh. I know this is going to blow up in my face, but... I find comments like this rather tedious and unfounded. Honestly, taught to see out the path of least resistance??

When you are the first to go down a particular path, whatever path that is, it is often met with scepticisim and support from friends and family is seldom dolled out blindly.

I remember the excitement when I received my first engineering job offer, and the knee-jerk response when it emerged that I would be working on a factory floor.

5 years later, I had one female cousin complete an associates degree in contruction technology who now works in the Athbasca Oil Sands. We're the grunts of the family.

There is a white collar/blue collar stigma that emerges.

My youngest cousin expressed interest in biomedical engineering (specifically prosthesis design and medical robotics) but was instead persuaded to take up kineseology as a precurser to medical school.

So it goes.

In a day and age where the USA has recently had a female presidential candidate, I'm getting kind of tired of being white, middle class and male and apparently that makes me responsible for everyone else's destiny and guilty of making their lives difficult.

I was not bearing the burden of this on the white males. Quite to the contrary, equal opportunity is as much the responsibility of the minority, if not moreso.

I remember when I was in junior college a white male club was proposed. It was shot down by the colleges administration for obvious resons. They appealed on the basis that college records were able to confirm that white men were actually a minority and had been for some time.

Exactly how many generations of established female engineers and quantitative ancestors do you need before you are able to get out, and make something of yourself, of your own accord? ??

The initial question asked was "I see very few girls in engineering as a whole. Why??" I am proposing that the girls who excel in highschool math and science are not encouraged as much as the could or should be to pursue such careers. Or do we accept the alternative hypothesis that most girls are either unwilling or incapable of stepping up to the challenge?

So we return to the chicken and the egg.

The first couple of replies to this post are admittedly foolish, but please. I know of a single instance of a woman being disadvantaged because of her gender (specifically, the heavily male dominated mining industry), so I know it still DOES happen.

Again, coming from the 'been there, done that" camp, and in the spirit of giving you a second instance, I would be happy to share my experiences in greater detail. Perhaps I should write a book about how I was just hot enough to work on Wall Street ;)

The foolish comments and bantering above really does irk me. If similar comments were made in a racial or religious context, I expect the fireworks would truly be flying.
Were the girls in your programs, at times, made to feel uncomfortable, berated, or harassed because of their gender (or looks)?


Chapter 2 will be an instructional section titled "etiquette" and will include answers to such question as:

I have always worn pant suits to interviews, but I was told that skirt suits are more appropriate on Wall St., unless you are interviewing with a woman. Why is this so?

How do I handle unwanted sexual advances from my coworker, my boss, my client or my CEO gracefully?

I was invited to a client dinner but just found out that this will likely culminate with bottle service at a strip club and a table full of escorts, do I go?

But I'm against ANYONE being extended an olive branch solely because of their gender,

I couldn't agree more.

Because of affirmative action, don't women nowadays actually have the advantage in areas that were traditionally male dominated? Men are competing against a much larger pool of candidates.

I have seen this be the case in large firms - There is a premium associated with being a visible minority.

In smaller firms, I do not believe this to be the case. Futher, I have seen specific cases where male-dominated offices are very hesitant to hire women for a range of reasons. I have also seen examples of blatant racism.

Again, you take some, you lose some.

From time to time I take my first name off my resume and simply use my initials. It makes for an interesting social experiment.
 
"Futher, I have seen specific cases where male-dominated offices are very hesitant to hire women for a range of reasons."

Believe it or not, hiring a young woman as apposed to a young male carries greater risk for some professions. One obvious reason is that they require more off time to give birth. Another is they simple aren't as physically adept for many jobs. Have you ever seen a female firefighter? Many woman who wants to raise children early on simple don't aspire into professions where doing so might cause a problem. I simply can't picture a small hedge fund of where one of the major employees has to suddenly take two months off work.

You might get offended, but those are the reality.

Now studies have shown that as a woman ages, the risk does mitigate. But for some professions, it might be to late for women to have the necessary prerequisites to enter into the field.
 
"Futher, I have seen specific cases where male-dominated offices are very hesitant to hire women for a range of reasons."

Believe it or not, hiring a young woman as apposed to a young male carries greater risk for some professions. One obvious reason is that they require more off time to give birth. Another is they simple aren't as physically adept for many jobs. Have you ever seen a female firefighter?

This is a whole different issue.

I do not support equal opportunity when physical safety is at risk due to lowered entry requirements.

That said, I have seen and met female fire fighters (and military personnel) who have met the exact same physical requirements as their male counterparts.

"Many woman who wants to raise children early on simple don't aspire into professions where doing so might cause a problem. I simply can't picture a small hedge fund of where one of the major employees has to suddenly take two months off work.

And there are a lot of women who have no plans to raise children. Unfortunately it is illegal to ask this in an interview.
 
This is a whole different issue.

That said, I have seen and met female fire fighters (and military personnel) who have met the exact same physical requirements as their male counterparts.

I think it's fair to say on average, most don't.

And there are a lot of women who have no plans to raise children. Unfortunately it is illegal to ask this in an interview.

I think it's fair to say on average, most do want to raise children.
 
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