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International Women’s Day 2019: Words of Wisdom

In honor of International Women's Day 2019, we asked the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) board members to weigh in on what it means to them to be a woman in engineering today.
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Happy International Women’s Day!

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Balance for Better,” because a balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

In celebration of IWD 2019 and the amazing women we work with every day, we asked our board members to share their feelings on being a woman in engineering.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in engineering today?


International Women’s Day 2019: Words Of Wisdom
Penny Wirsing, SWE President

“I love the fact that as a woman engineer I’m part of the conversation on how to solve problems to improve our world. If we’re going to get the best possible solutions, we need everybody contributing ideas.”

Penny Wirsing | Environmental Manager, Torrance Refining Company

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Dayna Johnson, SWE Director of Professional Excellence

“As a woman in engineering, I’m absolutely proud of the diverse viewpoint I bring to the table. When you hear about how many women either don’t enter the field or leave it, it makes you realize how important it is to help your peers and colleagues stay in this profession. We have the opportunity to impact so many people and change the world around us, and we need to ensure that we have as diverse of viewpoints as possible doing so.”

Dayna Johnson | Business Development Manager, GE Power

International Women’s Day 2019: Words Of Wisdom
Libby Taylor, SWE Director of Local Engagement

“I am a change agent. My presence in engineering helps shift the balance toward gender parity and I know that I can influence and encourage those around me that engineering and STEM are fun and a path that they too can pursue.”

Libby Taylor | SWE Director of Local Engagement



International Women’s Day 2019: Words Of Wisdom
Cindy Hoover, SWE President Elect

“Being a woman in engineering is hard work but very rewarding. I have learned to trust myself and have confidence in my decisions. I know that I am capable of handling all of life’s challenges along the way. Mentoring women engineers and inspiring girls to love STEM is my passion. Being a woman in engineering is amazing!”

Cindy Hoover | Vice President & Chief Engineer of Operations, Spirit Aerosystems

International Women’s Day 2019: Words Of Wisdom“To me, being a woman in engineering today is a promise. A promise to the future that we will work to inspire the next generation of engineers and improve diversity in STEM fields. A promise to myself that I will use my problem solving and analytical skills each day to advance and better our society. And a promise to my fellow SWE members that as we grow as a society and welcome more diverse perspectives into our community, that inclusion and integrity will always be our strengths.”

Alexis McKittrick, Ph.D. | Research Staff Member, IDA Science & Technology Policy Institute

International Women’s Day 2019: Words Of Wisdom
Genevieve Kane, SWE Collegiate Director

“Being a woman in engineering is an honor, because we get to continue the work of early pioneers in our respective fields. We are still at a point where many of us find that we are the only woman in the room. I take every opportunity where I have a seat at the table to make sure that my perspective and thought processes are known, and the value of diversity is seen. In advocating for gender parity, we are also continuing to enhance our industries abilities to innovate and thrive. It’s an exciting time to be a member of the engineering and technology fields, and I hope that with our advancements, we are able to inspire the next generation to continue to achieve the unimaginable.”

Genevieve Kane | Doctoral Student & Research Assistant, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Help SWE and women around the world celebrate International Women’s Day 2019!

Share a picture and/or tell us in your own words what it means to be a woman in engineering today! We’re listening on Facebook (@SWEorg), Twitter (@SWEtalk), Instagram (@SWEtalk) & LinkedIn (@Society of Women Engineers)!