In honor of International Women in Engineering Day, we interviewed a few of our female team members for insight into what their careers mean to them and why they chose the Engineering Industry.
Ann, PE, Project Manager
What does being a women in engineering mean to you?
I have been very fortunate in my career. I have worked for firms that have been very supportive and I have not felt gender discrimination like many female engineers before me. Being a woman in engineering is a demanding, yet satisfying, career where I have had opportunities to thrive and achieve what many women have not been able to achieve before me. Therefore, being a woman in engineering is meaningful to me because of the impact I will have on the next generation of young women who choose a STEM career.
Antonia, PE, Drainage Engineer
Why did you become an engineer?
I was good at high school math and kept being encouraged to pursue accounting or teaching. These careers did not seem the right fit for me. While attending summer orientation before my entrance into college, I sat in on the introduction to Engineering seminar. The professor said, “Only 10-15% of incoming freshmen will make it to sophomore year. This curriculum is hard and demands your full attention for all 4-years.” I was totally intimidated because I did not want to fail. However, I knew I had a good work ethic, and I wanted a challenge. You see, I came from a small town, and my Hispanic upbringing did not allow girls to venture too far from the expected path – there were no other women in my family or community who were engineers.
I met my parents after two days and happily reported that I had chosen to study Civil Engineering. My Dad looked alarmed and then he blurted out, “You can’t! That’s a man’s job!!” And, so, I chose Civil Engineering even more! Years later he visited me in Atlanta, where I toured him through one of my first constructed design projects. Then he understood my passion for the field, and he let his worry turn to pride.
…Today, I am excited to see women operating heavy equipment on construction sites, and I have seen women preparing their tool bags for work at home building sites! As a young girl, I did not have role models in the science, engineering, or construction world. Feeling that I played a small part in promoting this shift for today’s young girls and women is the most rewarding aspect of being a woman engineer.
What does being a women in the engineering field mean to you?
Being a woman in the engineering field means a great deal to me. Not only do I have the opportunity to work with professional women engineers, but I also get to learn from them from a different viewpoint. Most of the time construction and engineering is viewed as a “man’s world” type of job, but I have the opportunity to work alongside men with a woman’s touch as it were, and it has been very educational.
I have been able to learn how to deal with a variety of issues (and solve some on the way) that I wouldn’t have in a different profession, all the while working as a team in this “man’s world” kind of job. And like James Brown says: “It’s a man’s world but it ain’t nothin, without a women or a girl”…I have worked with many engineers within ETM that I have had the privilege to learn from (men and women), and the learning keeps on coming!
Coming from working in a Bakery, a Bank, and as a Massage Therapist (just to name a few), I never would have imagined a lifelong profession in the Engineering Field, but years later here I am! I am thankful to have found or have been found by such a great company that always strives for excellent…All this to said, if any wondering woman want to know if the engineering field is for them, I leave you with this: I AM A WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR, IF I COULD DO IT SO CAN MORE!
Tate, Engineering Intern
Why did you become an engineer?
I have wanted to become an engineer since I was a little girl. My dad was an engineer, and I remember thinking what he did sounded so cool. As I grew up engineering continued to pique my interest. It is a great feeling to look back on this dream I have had since I was little and realize I am here.
We look forward to continuing to support these women, as well as all our incredible employees, for years to come! If you’re interested in joining our growing firm, we have offices throughout Northeast and Central Florida. Please email [email protected] to learn more, or visit our careers page to view our open opportunities.