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How hard is it to be a woman in engineering?

I will become a computer engineer when I leave college. I know I will have to struggle with adversity. How difficult will it be for me to challenge the male dominated field of engineering and succeed? #technology #women-in-engineering

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Carmen’s Answer

Hi Kaitlyn, let's rephrase your sentence, you don't really need to challenge the male dominated field, from your side there shouldn't be any bias against men. Yes, in engineering women are a minority, however that shouldn't limit you to do something. I think the hardest part would be when other people, name it certain men or even women don't accept the fact that you are "you" and they would like you to make you change to adapt to them, instead of being empathic and understand your point of view. That could happen in any field. I'm an engineer and at school <I never faced any challenge or it was not hard at all to be a women, and at work I just realized that people could forget sometime to have empathy. Remember that there will always people helping you to succeed any field,

Carmen recommends the following next steps:

Focus on shining yourself, don not worry about what others might think or could react.

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Stephy’s Answer

Hi Kaitlyn,

I'm glad that took you career in engineering. Welcome to the club! I had similar questions when i started my career in engineering too. But in a slightly different way. My question was "How hard it is to show my credibility in a place around lot of men", "Go to a room full of men and still feel confident and strong". I think the first step is to show them how credible you are and in my experience that solved most of the difficulties being women in engineering.

And also being open to whomever you work with. Letting them know your thoughts and feelings, will make them understand who you're and how you feel about certain things at work.

I strongly recommend finding a mentor either at your workplace or outside whom you feel connected and comfortable. Mentors are great resources to go whenever you need support or advice. I always had great mentors at work and outside. I try to go to women in tech networking events[#http://girlgeek.io/] and find similar people like me.

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Mary’s Answer

Hi Kaitlyn! I think it's wonderful that you want to be an engineer. Please do not be discouraged. Work hard and do your best to accomplish your goal. Check out this article about some amazing women engineers: http://www.businessinsider.com/most-powerful-female-engineers-of-2017-2017-2/#no-43-gixos-selina-tobaccowala-1

Best of luck! Go for it! #stem #womenengineers #engineering

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Jessica’s Answer

Hi Kaitlyn! You can absolutely succeed as a female software engineer. What I found has helped me to work through some of the adversity as a female engineer is to find communities of women who have experience in the field. These communities can be online or in person, and are a great way to get advice, have a safe space to ask questions, and find mentors!

Jessica recommends the following next steps:

Find a community of female engineers (for instance Dallas has a Women Who Code community with regular free events here: https://www.womenwhocode.com/dfw). I started off going to these events just to listen and learn, and over time I felt more comfortable talking with people in the community and it helps me to get advice and also to feel empowered as a woman in tech.

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Theresa’s Answer

This is a question I've had ever since high school when I decided to pursue my career in engineering. I'll admit that it has been hard at times in college and when starting my career, but it is getting easier. There are so many initiatives now for diversity in engineering and tech. I was part of an organization at UC Berkeley and it helped tremendously.. Last piece of advice is to find and grow your network...join national organizations, go to networking events in tech areas (Eventbrite, LinkedIn, etc. have many orgs with events), or create a group on your campus.

Keep asking great questions and good luck in your career!