2 answers

What is it like being a women in the engineering field?

Asked New Rochelle, New York

I am really interested in entering the engineering field and have been for awhile and I just wanted a little insight on the day in the life of a women in these types of fields. #engineering #women-in-tech

2 answers

Lindsay’s Answer

Updated California, California

Hi Ese! I love seeing women interested in engineering - I hope you select to go this route. In general, I found that studying engineering opens many doors and in no way limits future possibilities. With my mechanical engineering degree, I've worked in design, product development, marketing and operations, and am so thankful for my engineering foundation, which allowed me to explore these diverse fields.

Great strides have been made for women in engineering, with overall diversity increasing and support of organizations like the Society of Women Engineers (SWE: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/). The reality is that there are fewer women than men, so be prepared to work in a male-dominated environment. That said, I've formed incredible bonds with my fellow female engineers, who have become mentors, confidants and friends. After working more than 10 years in technology, I have not experienced discrimination in my day-to-day work in the US. I have experienced some discrimination when traveling internationally in countries whose cultures aren't as forward-thinking with women in technical positions. None of this has inhibited my work or left permanent damage... if anything, I've become a stronger, more adaptive person and learned to adopt different communication styles to be inclusive as I can be.

I truly feel empowered being a female engineer - with amazing role models to look up to and incredible talent entering industry. I do hope you'll join me :)

This is terrific advice Lindsay. Thanks so much for sharing your insights and expertise with Ese (and the thousands of other young people who will find and benefit from reading your answer!). Keep up the great work!! :)

Jen’s Answer

Updated Grand Rapids, Michigan

I am a female engineer. In my experience I was hired in and quickly noticed I was the only female at my location with 2 women total in the building. I switched groups at the same company and again was the only female engineer. I can tell you I work harder and I am not always well received in the group I am in now that had zero diversity. If I speak up I "have thin skin" so I really pick my battles (very few and approved by management) to make sure I am taken seriously. I take good notes, keep my communication in email to be certain I have a record. The odd part of this is the men call me first when they don't know something because they don't want the other guys to know. LOL. The VP (also an engineer) has told me to ensure my resume is very technical because in her experience growing her career she has been of the belief men do not think women are as technical. I work hard, take on extra projects and keep growing my wheel house to keep growing my career.

Day to day I enjoy my job. I try to be a step ahead and I think this keeps me noticed in a positive light. Always know where you are in the food chain and continue educating yourself. Its a boys club in my world but soon I will pass them up! When at work keep your head at work (not home life) and your foot always on your career gas pedal. Be ready to ask what you can do better and how you can grow. Then you will do great. Good luck

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