Paving The Way For Female Engineers

Paving The Way For Female Engineers

There are a lot of reasons why women don’t survive in engineering but with determination, a lot of preparation, and realistic expectations about career advancement you can endure and prevail and really enjoy your work life as I did.

I was aware of the many problems of survival before I entered my career, the inflexibility to women having families, the non-support of women in a male-dominated work environment, and the grueling work schedules. It’s not as bad as it seems and to be fair I have had reasonable work schedules but there are times you can be called into an emergency out of hours and you should bare this in mind; dependent on the type of engineering work you are involved with. For me, I contracted and managed certain areas of a construction site so if there were faults or electrical outages I had to run off and reset these manually when on standby.

My Survival Tips for Women in Engineering

If you decide to get into engineering, here are some tips:
  • Don’t take any flack for being a woman – if you feel you’re not being treated equally, speak up!
  • Be realistic about working hours – ask your boss to be flexible, but don’t expect miracles or special treatment and work on projects you know you can dedicate your time to.
  • Try and join a professional organization such as IEEE Women In Engineering
  • Look into getting a mentor. Better still; get two – male and female – to help answer the questions that will arise throughout your career. It might be that your problem is one shared by all engineers – not just women!
  • Remember that the perceived barriers in your profession are shared by women in all walks of life, so don’t give up on your ambitions and aspirations.

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