Women in Engineering: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges
How can we inspire more women to be part of the Engineering Field?
by Sonya Go
In recent years, women have made significant strides in the field of engineering which has traditionally been a male-dominated profession. Women engineers have been breaking stereotypes and proving themselves to be just as capable as their male counterparts.
Although women comprise only a small percentage of the engineering workforce, their numbers have been steadily increasing. This is partly due to various initiatives encouraging girls and young women to pursue careers in STEM fields, including engineering. These initiatives have included mentorships, scholarships, and outreach programs, which have helped provide support and guidance to women who are interested in pursuing careers in engineering.
Women have made significant contributions to the field of engineering, including the development of new technologies and innovations that have changed the world. Emily Warren Roebling, played a key role in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which was one of the most significant engineering projects of the 19th century.
Emily Warren Roebling
Furthermore, women engineers have played a vital role in civil engineering, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. For example, Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space, was a trained engineer and worked for NASA before becoming an astronaut.
Dr. Mae Jemison
Barriers to break
Despite progress, women in engineering still face challenges, including discrimination, unequal pay, and lack of support. These issues have been brought to the forefront by various organizations and individuals who are advocating for gender equality in the field.
The Society of Women Engineers is a professional organization that advocates for women in engineering and provides networking and professional development opportunities to its members.
To increase the representation of women in engineering, it is essential to continue to encourage and support girls and young women in pursuing STEM education and careers. This can be achieved through initiatives such as mentorship programs, scholarships, and outreach programs. Additionally, companies and organizations can take steps to address issues such as unequal pay and lack of support for women in engineering by implementing policies that promote gender equality and inclusivity.
Bridging the gap
One way to address the challenges faced by women in engineering is to increase the visibility of women engineers and their contributions to the field. This can be achieved by highlighting the achievements of women engineers through media and outreach programs, as well as by increasing the representation of women in leadership positions within engineering organizations. By promoting the visibility and accomplishments of women in engineering, we can inspire future generations of women to pursue careers in this field and help to create a more diverse and inclusive engineering community.
Creating a work environment that is inclusive and supportive of all employees is another way to support women in engineering. This includes implementing policies that promote work-life balance, provide equal access to professional development opportunities, and ensuring that all employees are treated with respect and fairness. Companies and organizations can also promote diversity and inclusivity through their hiring practices, by actively seeking out and recruiting women and other underrepresented groups in engineering.
It is important to continue to raise awareness about the challenges faced by women in engineering and to work towards solutions that address these issues. This includes advocating for policies and initiatives that promote gender equality and inclusivity in the workplace, as well as providing resources and support to women engineers who are facing discrimination or other challenges.
Celebrating Women’s Month is but a catalyst of what we, as a society, can do in creating a more diverse, innovative, and equitable engineering community. By promoting gender diversity and inclusivity in engineering, we can help ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to pursue their passions and achieve their full potential in this exciting and rapidly evolving field. Let us work together to build bridges of support, representation, and equity that encourage and equip women to break barriers in the field of engineering.