What Girls Want From Their Careers

(And What They’re Not Hearing from Engineers)

To inspire girls, it’s important that engineers first understand what young women are looking for from their careers. The coalition’s research identified five qualities that high school girls valued in a job, ranked in order of importance:

  • It’s enjoyable. Girls want to enjoy what they do day in and day out “How happy I will be—what’s the point of doing anything you don’t like?” 
  • Provides a good working environment. Getting along with co-workers, location, fun-factor is a big priority. “Working environment is important. A friendly working environment always makes working easier!” 
  • Makes a difference. Girls want to know that what they do matters “That I would make a difference in some way, you know, make my mark on the world.” 
  • Pays well. These girls are practical and money is a big factor. There were several mentions of financial security and stability. “As shallow as it sounds, money is the one thing I have to consider when I’m choosing a job. I’m not going to do something that I know can’t help me pay bills.” 
  • Offers flexibility. Girls are looking for a job that allows time for family, hobbies, and travel. “My career can’t consume all of my time . . . I need free time to do a lot of other things I want to accomplish before I die, and when I have a family, I need time to spend with them.”

Is your outreach program communicating the kind of career information that girls are looking for? Are you making sure they know that engineering is enjoyable, involves working with great people, and can really make a difference? The next section will introduce you to messages that truly inspire girls and which we hope the entire engineering community will adopt.

                                                    What career messages are compelling to girls >