Wanted: Women Engineers!
Women’s Day at the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
“The more women there are who join the scientific-technological fields, the greater the interface between engineering and life, such that women will find it easier to combine family life, research challenges, gratifying careers and a good livelihood,” said Dr. Tamar Yarom, to participants in the Women’s Day event held at the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Yarom, a faculty alumnus, is the director of R&D at the Manor Advanced Defense Technologies Division at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and a recent winner of the Israel Employee award. In her lecture, Yarom encouraged her audience to study mechanical engineering at the Technion, adding, “I do not believe in affirmative action; tell yourselves that you are just as good as the male students, and even better, and don’t hold yourselves back because of the environment.”
This was the fifth annual Women’s Day event held at the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The organizers aim to increase awareness of the field’s importance among female high school students in the science-technology study track, who are candidates for studies at the Technion. During the event, the students were presented with a survey of mechanical engineering as a profession in knowledge-intensive industries and in academia, and with information on studying mechanical engineering at the Technion as a springboard to a career in this field.
The event was held in cooperation with the Haifa Municipality’s Excellence for Science program and the Nitzanei Technion program, which promotes excellence in the Druze sector. In attendance were some 200 female high school students in grades 11 and 12 who are studying in the science-technology track and young female Technion students in the pre-academic preparatory program as well as current Mechanical Engineering students.
The day was divided into two sessions, during which the participants heard lectures by faculty alumni who became senior engineers in Israeli industries and took tours of the faculty’s labs, which display technological developments and trailblazing research.
Prof. Yoram Halevy, the dean of the engineering faculty, greeted the students, saying, “We want to accept the best students to the faculty. There are many talented women who in the past did not find their way to this faculty or to the Technion. From the data I have obtained, I can tell you that the average grade scores of the women students in this faculty are higher than those of the men students. Mechanical engineering is a very broad and varied field, and I hope that your exposure to this variety today at the faculty will lead to your joining us. We will welcome you with open arms.”
“I welcome you on behalf of all the women at the Technion,” Israel Prize laureate Prof. Miriam Erez told the students. Erez is in charge of the status of women at the Technion. “At the Technion we are making good progress toward a greater presence of women on campus, and women account for 40% of the new students enrolled here this year. Unfortunately, the percentage of women in the Israeli high-tech sector is still low, but the Technion is continuously changing and with it the variety of fields of study. I hope you will choose to join the Technion. This is a decision that will be for your own benefit and the benefit of Israeli society as a whole.”
“I have always loved taking things apart and putting things together,” said Yael Shiloah, an alumnus of the faculty who now heads a development team at Intel Haifa. “I like practical studies more than theory, so I decided to learn mechanical engineering. It’s hard to tell what the future will bring, but if you learn at the Technion you will be part of the industry that will create the future. Mechanical engineering is a wonderful foundation for integrating into the technology world.”
The event was sponsored by Intel Israel and Motorola Solutions Israel, which donated scholarships to women students who began their studies in the faculty in 2014.