Everybody is telling me not to do Chemical Engineering, but I love it

Hi
I'm Lakshmi, from Delhi. I love chemistry and was thinking about taking up chemical engineering. But everyone around me is telling me that this field is not for girls. I am really annoyed. Right now I am not really sure whether I should really take up chemical. Also my marks in JEE Mains are just alright. I am really confused and scared about my future!
Please advice me!
posted by Lakshmi, Delhi, India on June 10, 2014

Answer by Dr. Surya Mallapragada

Lakshmi, please do not be swayed by uninformed opinions that chemical engineering is not for girls. If you love chemistry and math, chemical engineering is a very good career option for you. I grew up in India myself and went through the JEE system a while ago, and studied chemical engineering. And as a woman, I have had and continue to have a very rewarding career as a chemical engineer. I teach and conduct research at a University in the US, and about 30-40% of our chemical engineering students (out of a total of 700) are women. Most of our students, both men and women, go into industry and have vibrant careers. So there is no real rationale or basis behind the statement that chemical engineering is not for girls.