Working Like a Girl: More and More Women are Enrolling in Traditionally Male-Dominated Fields


Caption: Allyson Weaver (left) and Elizabeth Burkett (right) dominate outside the classroom, too. This was taken right after they won their first rugby match of the season again UofA.

As years go by society has become more accepting of women going into the fields traditionally deemed “masculine.” Women are proving every day that there is no such thing as a “male” major or a “female” major. There are only majors.

Since 2011, women enrolled in business and engineering have increased by the hundreds at ASU and it doesn’t appear that statistic will be slowing down any time soon.

Brigette Maggio, 19, is a freshman at ASU and is majoring in business law. Maggio admits that her major houses more males than females.

“I definitely feel like there are more men than women in my classes. I believe there are more men on campus, in general. And it seems like men are typically the ‘bosses’ which is annoying. I hope to change that stereotype.”

Even with the pressure of a male-dominated major hanging over them, Maggio urges women to not let it deter them.

“Any girl hoping to undertake a male-dominated field should go for it. Don’t let any man or stereotype get in the way of your goals and dreams.”

Gender stereotypes are dying out as society adapts to the ever changing ideals of those in it. There are stay-at-home dads, and mothers who cannot cook a lick. Men are teachers and nurses and women are lawyers and engineers.

Some women have been lucky enough to go through at least their high school career without feeling strangled by gender stereotypes. Allyson Weaver, 18, originally from Moses Lake, Washington, is a freshman at ASU majoring in environmental engineering.

“I always loved math and science when I was growing up. In high school I took as many science courses as I could. I liked math until I got to calculus,” Weaver jokes. “But I like it a lot more now in college.” It wasn’t until college that Weaver even noticed the gender gap associated with her major.

“I don’t think I felt like science and math were something just for boys, but I didn’t even know how male-dominated engineering was until I had made up my mind to be [an engineer]and researched it, which was during my senior year of high school.”

Although the classes Weaver takes have more men in them, she isn’t bothered. There’s more to her major than gender. “The reason I chose environmental engineering was because I wanted to help develop ways to purify water for lesser-developed countries. In my AP environmental science class, I learned that one in 10 people don’t have access to clean water; I want to help change that.”

Women are no longer restricted by job titles. People don’t scoff at female doctors. Young girls can now wish to be scientists and mathematicians. They are the future lawyers, politicians and doctors of the world, and nothing, especially stereotypes, will get in their way.

Elizabeth Burkett, 20, originally from Prosper, Texas, is a junior at ASU majoring in biomedical engineering. Burkett says she understands that her field is male dominated but it’s not intimidating to her.

“There are significantly more men than women in my classes, but I don’t find it intimidating at all. I see them as classmates, not men.”

Burkett believes that subjects are genderless.

“I saw math and science classes as subjects that I liked and wanted to take. I never factored in gender as an aspect to them.”

Burkett wishes to erase gender from the eyes of young women, hoping to help them understand that there is significantly more to learning than traditional and outdated gender assumptions.

“See all people as classmates and as competition, and don’t look at gender, because it doesn’t make a difference. Try to be at the top of your class and don’t look back.”

ASU has some of the best and brightest in their engineering and business programs. And although the majors may host more males than females, hardworking women are pushing their way into the program and teaching young women everywhere that girls can grow up to be whatever they want.




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