8 answers

What is the best advice that you have for women hoping to excel in the engineering field?

Updated Marietta, Georgia

8 answers

Consuelo’s Answer

Updated

I would say, don't think about it too much. You WILL run into people that try to put you down because you're a woman... but that's really not as often as you'd think. Most people you'll interact with are nice people. In school you'll form a camaraderie between classmates because school is difficult. Then in the workforce there are more and more women going into engineering everyday, you won't be alone. Basically, just try your best, be confident, and don't let people tell you you can't. Because you can! I am happily working in Aerospace with no problems. If you do run into problems, don't take it personally, and move on. If you know you can do it, then that's all that matters :) Good luck!

Guisella’s Answer

Updated

The best advice I can give you is never accept "No" for an answer. As a women in a field dominated by men you will hear more often than not the words "No" or "you can't do it" so I challenge you to get out there and show them you can. Because, You can do it!

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Congratulations on being interested in becoming an engineer. It takes a special person to enter this field and meet the demands which this career area presents. The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make engineers successful. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow engineers to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside.  

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
  • Here are some links that will help you to learn more about the wide ranging area of engineering: ## https://www.engineergirl.org/ ## ## http://www.futureengineers.org/ ## ## https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43zVcmTJSKM ## ## http://stemtosteam.org/ ## ## https://www.asme.org/career-education/articles/undergraduate-students/engineering-still-needs-more-women ##

Katie’s Answer

Hi Rosa!


I would suggest getting involved in peer groups. There are all sorts of women in tech clubs and groups you can join that will give you access to people who have the same career path as you! A great place to start is "Girls in Tech", follow them on LinkedIn and learn how and where to get involved!


Good luck!

Katie

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas

I don't know the engineering field. As a woman who entered law enforcement in 1984, and successfully made a career of it, I think the thing that helped me the most was to stop thinking of myself as "a woman in law enforcement," and simply see myself as " a police officer." When people need an officer, or an engineer, it does not matter if it is a man or a woman. What matters is their skillset. That being said, always be the best you can possibly be, because, unfortunately, any time a woman enters a nontraditional field, people will judge all women by that one person. They will say, "see, that's why women should not be cops." Don't be "that woman." We need you to lead the way!


Best of luck!

Kim

Rolonda’s Answer

Updated Raleigh, North Carolina

First, believe in yourself and your capabilities. Be willing to learn. Study hard so that you can be very good. As you reach the college level and decide which engineering discipline you would rather be in, start to research different technical certifications that would be good to have. This will help build your credibility. Do internships before graduating college because this helps you to get real world experience. And finally participate in as many STEM events as possible.

Jennifer’s Answer

Updated Sacramento, California

I’m so happy you asked this question! I work in high tech and am often the only woman in the room. I also lead an employee resource group at my company that connects women so we don’t feel alone.

Overall, having diversity on an engineering team is a business imperative - look at this McKinsey study of women in STEM (https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/closing-the-tech-gender-gap-through-philanthropy-and-corporate-social-responsibility) Evidence based research has shown a public company’s stock price goes up with females leading. YOU ARE THE GAME CHANGER! Never under estimate your value as women in engineering.

So what do you do when you get there:

First, find your Wolfpack or Girl Gang. These are the people who support you no matter what. They also give you straight talk to keep you focused. They give honest feedback and you do the same to make each other better. Look for them. I promise you will recognize each other.

Second, find your male supporters. These are the guys that sit in meetings and will say “what do you think Katie?” They’ll support you by repeating your idea/point AND give you credit for it. He'll sound something like this... "I like what Katie said about...(insert your idea here)". They’ll often clear the floor and hand you the mic.

Third, find your female mentor or sponsor. This gal is at a higher level than you. She’s seasoned and has journeyed through the jungle with a machete. Don't just ask "will you be my mentor". Set up meetings with her, have lunch with her, ask her for advice. Ask her to connect you with others, but also give something back. Share what your working on. Then help her make connections if you can. Get crazy and teach one of your hobbies if she's interested.

Last, Be. Fearless. Speak up in meetings, speak up when you have an idea, concern, question. 9x's out of 10 others are wondering the same thing. People will notice your fearlessness. Say bold things. Share bold ideas.

Those of us in engineering are waiting for you. We have shoulders for you to stand on. We can't wait for you to join us!

Be bold and carry on.

Best

Jennifer Rillera

Javeria’s Answer

Updated Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

Be yourself and keep focus on your goal. Donot stop as there are many industries which donot hire women for service engineer but keep your eyes on your goal and on what you have to do.