Director, Optical Systems at GoPro
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 :)