While I was applying to do engineering at university, my grandparents and aunt (who have degrees in engineering) gave me some advice: “that no matter how hard you try, you will never be as good as your male coworkers. You should go into something more female mind orientated like accounting, afterall your female brain won’t be able to deal with 3D structures, maths, and design as well as a male brain could. Even if u try hard your boss won’t acknowledge you like he would for your male coworkers. That’s reality Rina, just deal with it.” I ignored them and I am an engineering student now. Last year, when I have caught the train back from uni, and strangers have seen me carrying my big heavy engineering books. Three times in the last year, they’d ask in a slightly condescending voice “oh engineering… how unusual”…”a bit strange for a girl isnt it?”… “so how are you coping with that?”

I’m doing better than most of the boys on my male dominated course, despite my female brain, but thanks for asking.