Women in Engineering: How to get more women into the profession
The best thing we can is to put more women in prominent leadership positions. It sends a message to younger women pursuing careers in engineering that they can advance and have a successful future.
Engineering is always evolving. In college, I was one of six females in the class by graduation. Being one of the few women in these classes always pushed me to be competitive and pursue a career that served as an ever-changing creative outlet. I have seen the benefits of choosing engineering as a freshman in college time and time again. When it comes to improving the percentage of women in the engineering field, I believe mentoring the younger generations and making them aware of the opportunities that engineering can provide is most important.
Women engineers supporting women who are aspiring to pursue a career in engineering is so important; having someone you can ask questions to and get advice from makes all the difference.
Encourage women to join associations in your industry, I have been a part of ASHRAE and currently serve on the board. Being a part of this association has provided great networking opportunities and to be a part of industry specific conversations. Victaulic is active with many different organizations to help ensure there are meaningful exchanges to encourage more young women to join the STEM field. We need more companies in STEM fields to step up and seek deeper engagement.
It is important to instill confidence in young woman interested in the field that may be intimidated by these numbers. To improve the ratio of women to men in engineering, we need to start inspiring and empowering young women when they are beginning their higher-educational journeys. It’s important that women in the field like myself are motivated to reach out to other females looking to start the process of earning their degree, so that they are aware of any opportunities available to them.
It is important for companies to ensure female employees are treated with the same respect and given the same opportunities as men are. If companies are mindful of this, more females will be motivated to advance in their careers as well as inspire younger women to begin their journey in engineering.
Exposing girls to engineering and STEM subject matter at an early age is incredibly important and should be a priority in education to ensure more STEM careers are pursued by females.
When I was in elementary school, it was my grandfather who bought me a small hammer, wood pieces, and nails. He taught me how to build wagons that attached to my toy horses that my Barbie dolls would ride around in. The exposure to such hands-on learning inspired my interest in learning increasingly advanced topics. By continuously tying engineering topics to areas that girls and young women are already passionate about, I believe they will be more compelled to pursue STEM careers.
To improve the representation of women in the varied engineering fields we should be focused on reaching young women during the formative middle and high school years. By encouraging participation in STEM programs, extracurricular clubs, and technical hobbies we could expose the next generation of women to the fun and exciting field of engineering.