Women in McMaster Engineering

Our McMaster Engineering community has dedicated itself to broadening participation in engineering.  We are inspiring young women to change our world by pursuing an engineering degree.

We support female students of many ages in a variety of ways, from camp programs, clubs, conferences and scholarships for elementary and high school students. Through programs such as career exploration and the experiential learning event Go ENG Girl and others, young girls learn how engineering and science can affect our daily lives for the better.

McMaster Engineering faculty members, many of them women, mentor prospective and current students through speed mentoring, networking and other programs. As well, about half of our women engineering students act as ambassadors on campus and offer peer-to-peer support, for instance through the Big Sister Little Sister program.

As a result, we’re improving the numbers of women engineering students at McMaster.  This year, 170 out of 825 students (or 20.6%) who have accepted their offers of admission to either Engineering I or Engineering I Co-op are women.

In 2004, 395 of the 2517 Ontario High School students admitted to McMaster Engineering were women, about 15.6 percent of the total number of admitted students.  By 2013, this proportion had increased to 18.4%, i.e., 703 out of 3829.

While we would like it to be so, not all admitted students accept our offers.  In 2004, 86 of the 395 admitted women students, or 21.8% arrived at Mac to begin their Level 1 Engineering studies.  By 2013, this number had grown to 207 out of 703, or 29.4%.  Our yield, representing our ability to attract women into McMaster Engineering, has improved considerably.

In recent years, about 30% of both admitted men and women students have entered our programs, which is an increase over these proportions from about a decade ago.

The message that I wish to convey is that while our journey to attract more women to engineering has to take many more steps, we have covered some distance in projecting McMaster Engineering as having value for women.  Hence, an increasing number now select McMaster Engineering.

There’s still considerable work to be done and I look forward to sharing even better news in the future.

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