International Women’s Day was March 8, recognizing the achievements and contributions made by women. It is a United Nations-sanctioned, global holiday, started in the early 1900s.
The International Women’s Day website states this year’s campaign theme is #PressforProgress, because there is a strong global movement striving for equal representation of women in leadership positions of male dominated industries. Engineering is an industry that has remained male-dominated, with very few women representing the field.
FY18 Director of Achievement for the Society of Women Engineers Dayna Johnson has accepted the challenge, with the lack of diversity in her career as a civil engineer, and has been a beacon for women who have been subjected to the same struggles.
“Early in my career, I realized that there simply weren’t other people that looked like me in my field, and I’d be the only female on job sites,” said Johnson. “Unfortunately, this can be detrimental for businesses--there are multiple studies that show the value of diversity of thought on teams.”
The opportunity to share her struggles, and those of women who have gone before her, has fueled Johnson’s passion of helping other women attain success in the engineering field.
“As I got more involved, I became more passionate about the Society of Women Engineers, which opened up many doors for leadership,” said Johnson. “The leadership opportunities I gained resulted in confidence to take career leaps that I may not have otherwise.”
Instilling the same confidence in fellow female engineers is what Johnson will continue to do, helping women accomplish what International Women’s Day represents.