Happy Women’s History Month! In March, we celebrate and recognize the amazing accomplishments of the women that paved the way for us. Women have historically been underrepresented in engineering fields, and SWE has strived to create a community for these women since 1950. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we asked our professional and collegiate members, “Why is it important for more women to become engineers?”
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
Research Scientist, Algorithm Analysis Lead, Hemex Health
It’s important for more women to become engineers so that women engineers don’t feel like outsiders. If women feel like they don’t belong in their companies, they may not feel comfortable expressing their full opinions and ideas, which can have a very real impact on both their productivity and their company’s effectiveness. Women engineers support one another in the workforce and reinforce a feeling of belonging.
Senior in Computer Science, University of Kentucky
Current University of Kentucky SWE President
Women are known for being efficient problem solvers. We don’t usually look for the easy way out of an issue; we embrace them. We are resourceful and know where to go to get help. Women don’t usually cut corners, which makes us valuable team members and good leaders in team settings. Even if pursuing a career in engineering seems challenging, I’ve noticed that women stand up to the challenge and do not give up as easily.”
B.S. in Ceramic Engineering, University of Illinois
Lecturer in Industrial, Manufacturing, and Materials Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Sometimes it is hard for engineers to be creative. We are taught ways to solve problems, but often we need to reach outside our own experience and knowledge to come up with the best solutions. By definition, more viewpoints can help, and the more varied the experiences, the better.
Women generally bring different experiences than men. We represent 50% of society, and when designing or fixing products, you need to understand all the users. There are countless examples of products designed by men that do not work as well for women. It is getting better, but we still have room for improvement. There are many engineering challenges ahead of us that will benefit from the involvement of women engineers!
To see more answers to this question, check out our YouTube Channel!
Do you have a question for our women engineers at SWE? We’d love to hear from you! Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll answer you, and your question may become a future SWEet Wisdom column!