The percentage of women studying engineering degree programs increased 38% in ten years

The number of female students increased from 8,623 in 2007 to 11,975 in 2016. However, women only account for 15% of UTN’s student population.

Publicada el 27 de agosto de 2018

In the last few years, the percentage of women studying an engineering degree program at UTN increased 38%, with 8,623 female students in 2007 and 11,975 in 2016.

These figures, obtained from the UTN’s Statistics Office reveal that, in spite of such increase, women still account for a very small percentage of the student population, going up from 13.8% in 2007 to 15.6% in 2016.

According to these data, some undergraduate programs which have been considered “traditionally male programs” started to show higher participation of women. Indeed, the percentage of female students increased in the Aeronautical, Civil, Electrical, Electromechanical, Electronics, Industrial, Naval, Chemical and Textile engineering programs; while it decresead in Automotive, Metallurgic, Fishing and Information Systems.

The percentage of female students in the Textile engineering program increased from 51.5% in 2007 to 80.8% in 2016, which makes it the engineering program with the largest growth in female student population. It is followed by Naval engineering (going from 6.7% in 2007 to 17.2% in 2007), Civil engineering (from 17.6% to 2007 and 25.2% in 2016) and Industrial Engineering (from 17% to 25.4%).

UTN Buenos Aires

In the case of UTN Buenos Aires, the percentage of female students was 22% in 2017, more than twice the percentage in 2005, when they only accounted for 10 percent.

Even though the percentage of female students in all the School’s engineering programs increased, there are outstanding cases such as Civil Engineering, where it increased from 7% in 2007 to 23% in 2017. Something similar happened with Industrial Engineering, which went up from 15% of female students in 2007 to 24% in 2017. The numbers in Naval Engineering, which had a 6% of female students in 2007, registered a leap in 2017, reaching 17%. Finally, Textile Engineering went from 54% of female students in 2007 to 78% in 2017.

The percentage of female candidates in UTN Buenos Aires in 2018 accounted for 20% (1023 out of 5078). Similarly, the percentage of female graduates in 2016 and 2017 was 20%.

Women involved in research projects account for 30% of the total UTN Buenos Aires researchers population.

The lack of female students in these programs has an impact on the shortage of engineers that our country has been suffering for more than a decade. In Argentina, 8300 students graduate annually. The challenge since 2012 has been to have one engineer per 4000 inhabitants. Currently, there is only one engineer per 6300 inhabitants, while in countries like China, there is 1 per 2000 inhabitants.

National tendency

Authorities from the University Policy Office (SPU) of the National Ministry of Education have stated that female growth in the engineering area is progressive and sustained, in spite of the fact that Engineering has traditionally been a men’s field.

Between 2012 and 2016, the engineering student population increased steadily, except in 2013, when it decreased by 1 %. This progressive growth is due to the admission of female students, which exceeded the male population of first year students in 2016 (62% of the admitted students that year). As a result of this tendency, in the last few years, the admission of female students increased by 3%. Such progressive growth shows their incorporation in the field. In turn, the admission of male students decreased by the same percentage .

However, the difference in the percentage of male and female participation is still significant. While the male engineering student population accounted for 76% in 2016, women only accounted for 24%. However, in 2012, male students accounted for 78% and women for 22%.

“This may be explained by two factors. On the one hand, SPU’s and the university system’s policies have been focusing on different strategies to foster student population growth since engineering is a strategic area for the development of the country at a production level which is experiencing a shortage of professionals. On the other hand, the job market has been undergoing transformations and the labour imaginaries in relation to the social status of professions and gender have also been expanded and diversified,” authorities from the Office affirmed.

La última oración del párrafo del original dice: En igual descendió la matrícula de varones. Por favor revisar y confirmar si la matrícula masculina descendió también en un 3%.