Perception of women in engineering needs to be changed from early age, says University professor – audio

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The influence of popular culture on how children perceive a career in engineering and computer science cannot be underestimated, the University's Faculty Director of Women in Engineering has warned.

Professor Elena Rodriguez-FalconSpeaking on National Public Radio's Tell Me More show in the US, Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon explained to presenter Michel Martin that embedded social constructs in children's books and TV programmes – for example those that define a girl will grow up to be a nurse and a boy will be a firefighter – are a highly influential factor in discouraging girls from considering a career in technology.

She suggests this is part of the reason why, despite a rich tradition of engineering, the number of women engineers in the UK compares poorly with the rest of Europe.

Professor Rodriguez-Falcon said: "Unless we change this perception, we'll miss out on a supply of talented women engineers to help tackle issues including poverty, the environment and world health."

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Additional information

Women in Engineering at the University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield's Women's Network

The University of Sheffield

With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world's leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

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In 2011 it was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

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News Source : Perception of women in engineering needs to be changed from early age, says University professor – audio

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