Women’s History Month is here, and in honor of the number of women in the engineering field rising we have compiled some inspirational words from ISG’s women engineers across multiple offices and disciplines. Here’s what they had to say:
What motivated you to choose this career path?
- I chose Civil Engineering because of its relationship to Architecture. I have always been artistically inclined, but I was talented in math and science as well. With civil engineering (especially structural), you have the ability to use all these skills!
- …I had told my teacher that I really enjoyed the class and he told me I should look into engineering. I was a freshman in high school and I have never looked back. A piece of me owes my career to Mr. Anderson and I am very grateful for conversation.
- I’ve always had a curiosity for learning new things, and in an ever-changing world, I get to learn new things at my job every day.
- Civil Engineering gives you an opportunity to design and oversee the construction of tangible spaces from an idea that is used in peoples’ everyday life.
What empowers you most within your career?
- I feel empowered by my knowledge, experience, and network! Being a woman in STEM, sometimes you find yourself in situations where your presence is neither appreciated or valued. Have the confidence to speak up!
- Determination and drive to achieve my goals.
- I love being an engineer, plain & simple… I look around in the MSP office and the upcoming PE’s in our office, for civil at least, are female. Each of us provides a different perspective and I really enjoy working with them on a day-to-day basis.
- I wanted to prove to myself and to everyone around me that I was just as capable and just as knowledgeable whether I was a man or a woman, so I did just that and I thrived doing it!
- I’m competitive. I want to be the best, and I’ll push myself to do so!
- I enjoy what I do, the challenge and creativity of engineering are appealing.
- Most of the projects I work on are water quality related. Seeing the data reminds me why we do things: measurable impact.
How have you encouraged other female engineers?
- I encourage female engineers with a positive attitude and a group mentality. Get to know the ladies in your office, create opportunities where you can learn together and from each other.
- I am still in contact with my college Alma (Go Bison) and was able to speak to an array of classes last year about the transition from a college student to becoming a working professional. Additionally, I noticed that in the classes there were at least 6 more females in the classes I was speaking to and I commented on how proud I was to see the growth within the department.
- In 2016 I attended the Society of Women Engineers conference in Philadelphia and learned how to better motivate not only myself in the engineering field but others as well. It was an irreplaceable networking event to bounce around ideas, problems, and stories with other amazing women.
- Empowered women, empower women.
- Throughout college, many of my friends were women pursuing engineering degrees. We were always happy to form a study group or help each other with classes each other needed help in.
- I was involved throughout college in a few organizations promoting women in engineering but spent most of my spare time heavily involved in a STEM sorority.
What advice would you give to young women interested in pursuing engineering?
- You can be anything you want to be. Be confident! Be proud! Take your spot at the table, and love the challenge!
- You CAN ask for help – the ability to ask for help when you are in need is a STRENGTH, not a weakness. Teamwork is EVERYTHING.
- Progress takes place outside of your comfort zone.
- Ask questions and do not be afraid to try something ingenious with yourself or your design.
- While the field may be dominated by men, women bring an entirely new way of looking at problems and we bring solutions to the table that can make tremendous impacts.
- Women are multitaskers, we are intelligent and personable, and we have an unstoppable drive, these are all traits that make us not only powerful humans but can make us excellent engineers.
- Don’t skip leg day. What I mean is, don’t do what’s easy just because you know you can. Push yourself to be better and grow!
- Go for it! The only thing stopping you is YOU.
- Pursue leadership opportunities as they become available.
- Internships are invaluable learning experiences.
What is one main takeaway you’d like the reader to have?
- Becoming a great engineer (or a great anything) is a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up!
- The gender gap is still noticeable, but women have made waves in the engineering field and I don’t see that changing.
- Do what you’re passionate about! People will respect you more if they can see that you love what you do, and want to share it with others.
- Everyone brings different perspectives and qualities to the table, so never be afraid to pursue anything you want to do in life.
Thank you to the ISG professionals that create a space for inclusivity, growth, and empowerment. We appreciate your ability to lead by example and make a positive impact every day.
- Erin Jones-Phiscator
- Whitney Stramer
- Jenna Lepper
- Amanda Thomas
- Bailey Griffin
- Becky Guenther
- Carley Johnson
- Bethany Brittenham