As a leading research university, VGU care about creating a fair environment for female colleague, encourage not only more female engineer to join the workplace, but also more girl and woman to attend our engineering study programs.
1. A conversation with renown women in a research university
The host is Katharina Beckmann – the Head of Academic and Students Affairs Department here at the Vietnamese-German University. She expresses her glad to be here to talk about a topic that is very dear to her heart: Being a female engineer at the research university of VGU.
Being a female engineer herself, having studied architecture, a lot of the challenges and conflicts discuss today she has faced during her studies or in professional life. Joining with Ms. Katharina are two other female professors:
Dr. Vi Nguyen Hong is the Academic Coordinator of the Master Program Global Production Engineering Management (GPE) and also a lecturer in Sustainable Product Development. Dr. Vi got a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering (2017), Old Dominion University, USA. She has several years of working in the industry, and her research university interests include the fields of sustainable development, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, advanced manufacturing technology, and production planning.
Dr. Hien Nguyen Minh is a Senior Lecturer in the Bachelor Program Electrical & Computer Engineering and has been until recently the Vice Dean of Studies for the Faculty of Engineering. Dr. Hien got a Ph.D. degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, and has been a Postdoc at Stanford Research University, USA. She is teaching Signal Processing at VGU since 2015. And her Fields of Expertise are Digital signal processing, Digital image processing, Magnetic resonance imaging.
2. Brief introduction about women in a research university
Although Vietnam ranks high globally in terms of its female labor participation rate – around 79 percent of women aged between 15 and 64 are either engaged in paid work or are looking for jobs in Vietnam compared to 85 percent of men – Vietnamese women still face a lot of challenges being in the workforce. One of them is a significant gender pay gap. The income of women in managerial positions was about 12 percent lower than their male counterparts in 2016.
Besides, Vietnamese women still face prejudices, including societal and cultural notions of women being homemakers. And while the female participation rate in Vietnam is impressive, there is visible gender disparity regarding overall labor force participation within different industries.
In technical fields, it’s challenging for women to gain professorships even at research universities that employ women faculties. So, in fact, despite some improvements, Vietnamese women still have several hurdles to overcome to get equal access to job opportunities and career advancements. And unfortunately, VGU is no exception: as a research university, the majority of our lecturers are still male, and currently, only around 10% of the students in our engineering programs are female.
3. An honest conversation of being a female engineering
In the beginning, the talk show focus on the discussion of whether a man is better suited to become engineers. There are many examples of how it can be an advantage to be a female. A lot of changes in the past years but still No more different. Of course, there are challenges. But as a female, we also have advantages. She also gives some examples of the rate of female studying/working in the engineering field, in research university, and the case of VGU students.
The reality of women working in engineering field or in research university is still very alerting
Next, both guests share the reasons why they chose your field of work and the path that lead them to become a VGU lecturer. Along with that are the challenges that they had to overcome during the studies and professional life being a female engineer in a research university?
Most importantly, the guest continues to propose tips for a future female engineering student at VGU on how to overcome those challenges and what characteristics they think should female students in engineering programs have. They also list out some of the main reason why research university and the industry is the right choice for female engineering students now, including Employers want female engineers, You’ll make a difference in the world, Engineers are paid well, You get to be creative, You’ll have plenty of career options…
How do you define “what is engineering” in the past and now? Did you experience any changes in your field of work, particularly the research university environment? This exciting topic from an audience’s question creates another fun exchange in the talk show. Engineers use both scientific knowledge and mathematics, on the one hand, to develop technologies and infrastructure to address human, social and economic issues and challenges on the other.
Engineers connect social needs with innovation and commercial applications. So to sum up on this topic of female engineering at research university:
Although huge steps have been made in the past, we still have a long way to go until we truly reach gender equality In Vietnam as well as all around the world, especially in the engineering field.
But we have encouraging role models amidst us like Dr. Vi and Dr. Hien that show us that it is possible to be successful in a male-dominated field and make a difference. At a research university like VGU, things are changing, and you can be positive about a better outcome.
Apply to VGU to one of our 14 Bachelor and Master Programs. And say yes to your bright future as a female engineer or in whatever field you chose to study at VGU.
Rewatch the whole talk show now for more details at https://youtu.be/cmZAt75T9Hw