I was talking to a friend at work today, who happens to be a non-male engineer, about the engineer culture. She complained about the lack of respect to woman in engineering in general. I kinda disagree with her. In my world, all enginners belongs to the same bleed, althought some may have a different appearence. Normally when a group of engineers treat each other some certain way, none in the group would consider that as a harassement. I don’t understand why a female would think different and consider she is being mistreated. To make puzzle more complicate, I also can’t understand why any one with a right mind would treat a non-male engineer as a flirting target. We all know the mind of non-male engineer works more or less the same as a male engineer, they are not the same type of woman you meet at bar, clubbing or any other social activities. It will never have the right chemistry to click between two engineers, unless romance is taken out of the equation and they click on something else.
I came across a book in the SFU library today talks about the philosophy of engineering. Engineers are indeed a very unique creature. To everyone’s misunderstand, engineer is not a hybrid of scientist and technician. It is interesting to know that the word engineer is origined from French. It is first refered to the military unit in Frech army that accoumulate knowledge, skills to make weapon or building projects run more efficiently. Later, this unit is brenched out into the civilian world to take care of implementing all complicate projects. Thanks to the education and training, engineers tends to think in an unique way different from normal people. Engineers strive for efficient and like to optimize things with measurable standards. In the design process, we like to minimize the manual work and incorporate as much intelligent into the system as possible. We are trained to elimiate the routine and trivial tasks, or turn most tasks into boring routine tasks for the lowly non-engineers. We are highly focus on praticality, most the time the ultimate goal is get the thing works. No wonder we engineer are so bad and handling woman or being romance, those are the things exactly opposite to what we are trained for.