In 1973 Manhattan College accepted women for the first time as undergraduate students. Since then, a lot has changed.
Today, nearly half of the student population is made up of women, as 45 percent of Jaspers are female.
“These numbers come from our official fall 2015 Census data,” said Steve Celin, institutional research analyst at Manhattan College.
Celin also shared the gender percentages within each of the six schools of study.
The School of Engineering is not only the most studied program on campus, but it also landed on the bottom of the list when it comes to number of females within the program. Only 23 percent of the engineer population identifies themselves as a woman.
One female engineer is Erika Finan, a junior studying civil engineering.
“I definitely enjoy studying engineering here at Manhattan and while it’s visibly obvious that there are less girls in the classes, I do not think it interferes with my studies,” she said in an email statement.
Finan further elaborated on what it means to be a women studying engineering.
“I have been told that I will get a job after graduation because I am a girl multiple times,” she said. “While this may not sound like an insult; it is.”
Finan added that not all students are as insulting.
“Some of my best friends at Manhattan are even guy engineers and I wouldn’t trade them for the world,” said Finan.
Finan is also the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers on campus.
The other five schools of study had much different gender percentages, as Celin provided the exact numbers. The school of business is 39 percent female, 61 percent male, the school of education and health is 70 percent female, 30 percent male, the school of liberal arts is 71 percent female, 29 percent male, the school of science is 52 percent female, 48 percent male and the school of continuing and professional studies is 32 percent female, 68 percent male.
Female Liberal Arts students have a much different outlook, as they are apart of the program with the highest percentage of women.
Mikeisha Kelly studies communication within the school of liberal arts and is a member of the class of 2019. She shared her empathy for the women in the engineering program.
“I respect other majors, especially women engineers because most of the time I feel like there are more men pursuing those jobs,” said Kelly. “Women now are entering that field more and becoming renowned and respected for their work more than ever.”
Kelly then discussed how female engineering students are the only ones being profiled.
“I don’t necessarily think that being a [female communication] major is stereotypical but I’ve definitely been judged for being a communication major,” said Kelly. “a lot of people tend to automatically think it is easy in comparison to other majors. I think it’s because a lot of people don’t really know exactly what it means to be a [communication] major.”
Kelly and Finan both agree that women are often judged for their choice of study, whether it be and “expected” or “unexpected” degree for a female to earn.
The two shared how people tend to misunderstand what their major entails as well as what they are capable of accomplishing as female human beings.
“[People] can’t really pinpoint exactly what kind of job one can get out of being a [communication] major.” said Kelly, while Finan said, “I will get a job after graduation because I am qualified for the job not because I am a girl.”