Women at work: Engineering

Today I'd like to talk a little about my profession and how much it means to me to see women taking good measures to exceed in a field most predominantly male oriented. 

Of course... The mandatory vintage "strong woman" picture fits right here :p
Taking a page from history, it has been found that humans as hunters and gatherer lived a nomadic lifestyle, and their centre of livelihood was mostly based on the resources necessary for their survival. However, that isn't all that centred them, it was also the women that were at the centre of their settlements, and in general, the lifestyle. Thousands of years from then, now the researchers have found that giving or sharing the economic burden and general responsibility of societal duty to women is much more beneficial in stabilising the progress of a country than the general social norms people so happily like to adhere to i.e. men at work, women in kitchen!

Now, I like to think of me as an ardent feminist... In simple words, I have, am and always will be pro female education, against gender bias and inequality, who has played a fare share in trying to stand my ground in trying to establish a spot in what you would generally consider a man's field, mechanical engineering. I did my bachelors where I was required to wield sledge hammers and work in the workshops for days. And guess what, I am not complaining! I loved it, that's why I chose to do it in the first place. I loved it so much that I actually continue doing so till date until I get my doctorate, and then perhaps some more! It hasn't been easy, and mind you, I still get patronised at times. Even in this age of diversity, modern technology and science, it is in a way a battle I fight everyday. But, I've learned (and am sure you must know it too) that if you hold your ground and show your worth, they eventually give you the respect you rightfully deserve...

When I was a kid I played all the sports my fellow male friends would. Coming from a very culturally grounded place like India, it is not very common to see girls playing the so called "masculine" sports like football and horse-riding, or doing martial arts. But, since a little kid, much thanks to my ever so encouraging dad (love you for that), I never considered myself any different from the boys, and have played as many sports and re-creational activities I could find including horse-riding, volleyball, basketball, cricket, badminton, swimming, karate, kung-fu, and even tried kayaking, mountaineering and different martial arts, not cause I don't associate with girls but because I always found it pointless and unfair to be considered dainty, and to just sit on my ass, looking pretty and trying to learn how to knit and cook. Not that I didn't learn that either, I mean why not? As a matter of fact I think all men should know how to knit and cook too if they want to be independent and sustain themselves alone! But I digress... Anyway, coming back to the professional point of view, what is a man's job and what exactly is a woman's job? How can you define the two individually? Can a woman not do all the manual labours as well as a man can? Is running a household all that a woman needs to do? And do you think that it is not laborious enough? I'm sure that these questions have already been open for debate plenty, and yet, when I say I'm an engineer people are quite surprised, if not shocked... And that is when it confuses me, even angers me a little, reminding me of the societal outlook of a "female".

Women in engineering, be it space, mechanical, softwares, civil and all the other forms, have had major contributions, whether acknowledged or not. There may not be a huge roster of names dating all the way back to 15-1600s but that is only cause much of the brilliant women from the past were restricted from exploring the realms of science. And for the ones that are, some of the coolest inventions were by a woman's initiatives like kevlar, computer software (yes indeed!) and even beer (what do you have to say about that men?). Check out the buzzfeed list here.

Hence, for a country to grow and prosper, getting equal rights for both men and women has to be the No.1 priority now. And that is where I think my fellow feminists should invest their efforts in, rather than all the "free the nipple" bollocks (Ooooh! I know I've brewed up a storm somewhere...) I keep reading about all over the internet these days! If you still disagree, look at your mom in the face and ask yourself this, would you be the person your are today without her?

Happy International Women's Day my lovelies!!!