A letter from a male engineering student to the women in his class explaining the inequalities he saw between the genders has gone viral and sparked a nationwide debate on women in engineering in the US.
Jared Mauldin is a mechanical engineering major at Eastern Washington University. He wrote an open letter to the female students in his class, explaining why the genders were unequal. The letter was published in the university newspaper, The Easterner.
The letter said: “While it is my intention in every other interaction I share with you to treat you as my peer, let me deviate from that to say that you and I are in fact unequal.
“I did not, for example, grow up in a world that discouraged me from focusing on hard science. Nor did I live in a society that told me not to get dirty, or said that I was bossy for exhibiting leadership skills.”
Source: Jared Mauldin
The letter went on to say: “I have had no difficulty whatsoever with a boys club mentality, and I will not face added scrutiny or remarks of my being the ‘diversity hire’.”
The letter was shared on Twitter sparking a nationwide debate on mainstream US media, including NBC News, on the the subject of gender equality in engineering.
Mauldin wrote on Twitter yesterday: “The response has been both amazing and overwhelming. It is starting a conversation, and that is all I could ask for.”
It comes as the UK debates the issue of female quotas within engineering, after the president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Naomi Climer said that quotas could be one of the measures employers could use to increase diversity in the profession.