I was just visiting Madison a few days ago, and I forgot to ask someone--what percent of engineering students are women? All I could find on the website was that their goal is to increase the percent of women in engineering to 25%.
If you don't know an exact number, is it terribly obvious that there aren't nearly as many women as men doing engineering, or does it really not feel like a big deal?
Since I currently go to an all-girls' school, I'd just like to know this to keep in mind when I begin applying to and deciding on colleges in the coming year.
I don't know any specific numbers honestly, but from what I can tell there are certainly less girls than guys in Engineering here. That's going to be about the same anywhere you go so don't let that discourage you too much.
You might find programs like the "Women in Engineering" learning community that takes up a floor in Sellery (A dorm) enticing. It would be an excellent way to meet other girls that share some interests.
Go for the best engineering program rather than the most women when it comes to choosing a school. Women still are definitely very underrepresented in the engineering fields all over. I was in chemistry and then medical school eons ago during the watershed years of women's lib so I know about being the minority gender. Being around other like minded women in the dorm as well as in my classes would have been nice (none of my college chemistry girlfriends ever chose the same place I wanted for housing). There are a lot more women professors in math/science than in my day- women mentors were rare then. Be prepared to be a small minority in your math, science and engineering classes, but don't worry about that. I can't imagine what it is like to be among more women than men in school or work, it will be an interesting change for you.
My current estimate would be somewhere in the 15-20% range. Lots of progress in the last generation but a long way to go, too. UW-Madison is notable in that three Departments in the College of Engineering have female chairs (Mechanical, Material Science and BioMedical). I would guess that email to any of those three would get you some feedback.
I was in an engineering program in the 70's. There was only one other girl in my major and none of my classes had more than 3. All I can say is that I never had to look for study partners or lab partners- I was always one of the first ones asked. While it was a little overwhelming at first- walking into a classroom with 100 males and 2 females-once we all go to know each other, I never had any issues with anybody. I made a lot of good friends. I met my husband when he was my lab partner in an Electrical Engineering lab my last year. He told me he had noticed me in a lot of his classes, but I don't remember him at all before that year. I guess I stood out as one of the few females in classes, while he was just another male in a sea of males. Don't focus on the percentage of females when you choose a school. Look at the program and what it offers. The rest will all work out. Good luck!