What a female engineer can/cannot do:
A while back I had read the book David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell which states that many of the US Presidents were orphans because extreme adversity makes some individuals to focus and pursue goals with steadfast determination. This implies that external factors serve as the ignition to fuel an individual’s achievements. Being an IT engineer means to a life long learner in the fast paced dynamic software engineering field . It’s demanding and challenging. Just as demanding are the societal pressures which are dis-proportionate towards men and women. Traditionally, men are expected to be primary providers whereas women are expected to be primary care givers. It’s this explicit expectation gap that direct men and women towards different goals and aspirations and subsequent under-representation in work-force. Society also judges a female unfavorably who works after child-birth. No one asked my husband why he continued to work even after our twin girls were born but I was asked a few times, sometimes subtly and other times bluntly. Luckily we had support of our family, my Mom/mother in law and a live in nanny were taking care of our girls while we were away at work. These societal nudges make a woman question her ambition and drive.
As far as neuroticism goes, in a work-place it’s occasionally acceptable for a male to display angry out-burst at some heated juncture in a discussion, but it’s considered weak to have teary out-burst. Funnily both are reactions of disagreement, how is one reaction superior to another? Who gets to decide ?
I would also argue that it is this feeling of being misunderstood that makes women more empathetic.
Women got voting rights much later but in today’s date it would be unimaginable that there once existed such disparity. Let us not judge what the other can/cannot do instead be equanimous and let meritocracy decide.
I grew up in a home which was gender agnostic and I just hope my girls live in gender neutral work-places and world!