“How Women Engineers Can Pave the Way for Better Opportunities in STEM Fields” was written by Joy Ebertz.
International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is about celebrating the accomplishments of women engineers and raising awareness of the profession so girls can take an interest at a young age. Despite the disproportionate number of women in engineering professions, it’s a great time for women to get involved in technology. Our world is going through a monumental shift, and people are opening up and willing to have those tough conversations about diversity. Companies are more receptive to improvements, and women engineers and technologists are feeling hopeful that things are getting better.
Below is some advice from other women engineers and female technology leaders on how women can make a name for themselves in the field of engineering and technology in honor of the holiday.
Don’t Compromise on Your Mental Health
“Don’t compromise on your mental health and happiness just for the clout of the company name. Find a space where you’re supported by the leadership team, there are new opportunities and where you can serve as a mentor to others rather than slipping into the background as ‘just a number,” said Andrea Roberson, product manager at Centrify.
Encourage Young Girls to Consider the Profession
“Girls must be encouraged from early childhood onward, to ask questions, be creative, be curious, disagree and debate, dig-in and be hands-on, and above all, to relentlessly follow their dreams,” said Wendy Meyers, director of global operations at Datadobi.
“My hope is that by supporting programs that expose and encourage women and girls to the possibilities of an education and career in tech, we can help address the skills shortage by introducing new perspectives and problem-solving skills to the industry,” said Sam Humphries, security strategist at Exabeam.
“Even as more women enter the field, we must address these social issues and show girls that their enthusiasm can translate into rewarding careers from the start. Organizations like Girls Who Code provide outlets for young women in STEM, but we can also create new programs in our communities, dedicate personal time to educating women and ask our companies to bring resources to underserved communities,” said Jacquelyn Ferrari, principal software engineer at ConnectWise.
Advocate for Yourself
“Even if your organization has mentor programs in place and a great support system, remember that no one can stand up for you better than yourself. Learn how to verbalize what you need and what you deserve, and you’ll go far,” said Kanthi Prasad, vice president of engineering at WhiteHat Security.
“Know what you want, ignore the outside noise and go for it. Gender doesn’t determine what you can do. So once you know what you want, go for it and stay focused – that’s what I did,” said Tina Cessna, vice president of engineering at Backblaze.
- History’s Viewfinder: Women in Camera Technology
- Research Highlights from “Women and Technology: The Dimensions of a Revolution”
- Advocating for Yourself: Advice from a Female Engineer