In spite of evidence to the contrary, aerospace engineer Leonard Campos recently said that difficulties female engineers face in the industry are “purely imaginary.”
“If anything,” he explains, “being a woman in engineering is actually an advantage.”
Helen Ludovisi, the female engineer to whom he was speaking was perplexed as to the validity of his claims. Despite her anecdotal experience and the various articles she’d read on the subject, Campos remained adamant.
“Men like to work with women, so women likely receive better treatment,” said Campos, despite the higher rates of sexual harassment in male-dominated work environments. “And they probably have an easier time getting hired because the men doing the hiring and men love women, so yeah it just makes sense.”
After Ludovisi handed him statistics about the disproportionate rate of women who become engineers versus the number of women who major in engineering, Campos scoffed.
“That can’t be right,” said Campos. “I’d hire a woman if I could. They just aren’t as interested in engineering as men are.”
Ludovisi attempted to explain that the problem is one that is self-perpetuating, and that the unavailability of female mentors to help them navigate obstacles in the field creates an uncomfortable work environment for women.
“Give me a woman to mentor and I’ll mentor her,” said Campos. “Seriously. We could use a pretty face around. If you know anyone, we’d be more than happy to help.”