Recognizing Trailblazers – Then and Now
June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day (IWED), an awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the career opportunities available to girls and women in this exciting field.
CWA believes that diversity is a key strength of a successful business and that a more balanced representation of women in the engineering field enhances the success of companies, the economy, and our society.
The ever-growing presence of women in engineering is having a meaningful impact on the culture of engineering groups and companies, which in turn are evolving with the shifting demographic, breaking stereotypes, and creating more equitable environments for all employees.
We are proud to highlight the perspectives and accomplishments of two young, talented new members of CWA’s engineering team, as they share their experiences and reflect on the impact and importance of this day.
Reflections on International Women in Engineering Day
Rhianna Dunlop, EIT — Mechanical Engineer
For me personally, International Women in Engineering Day is an opportunity to reflect on all the incredible accomplishments that women have made in engineering, and to consider how I too can contribute toward making the profession more inclusive. Being at the start of my career, it is also a day during which I can look to the accomplishments of other female engineers, here at CWA and around the world, for inspiration that will help to shape my career in a positive and impactful way.
In high school, I was always really interested in science and math, but those degrees did not offer a clear career path after graduation. Engineering was not something that I had even thought of as an option, but once I had heard about it and did a little research, I thought that it was a great career choice! It blended the subjects that I was interested in, as well as offering opportunities in an exciting and diverse blend of industries in need of engineers. That demand will only continue to grow.
My advice to girls and other young women who enjoy sciences and math is that, if you are interested in a career in engineering, never let the fear of failure stop you from embarking on a really fulfilling career, you should go for it! It’s OK to make mistakes; they happen. You can always learn from them and improve. Always remember that — it’s a good thing to ask questions — and don’t be afraid to voice your ideas and opinions. We are all capable of so much, and engineering is a career with amazing possibilities and great opportunities for learning and growth.
Louise Liao, EIT — Mechanical Engineer
To me, International Women in Engineering Day is both a reminder and a celebration. It is a reminder of how far women have come in being recognized for their contributions to engineering and how much effort has been put in to achieve that recognition. This important celebration is a reminder for us to focus on continuously working toward greater equality for women in the field of engineering.
I have always enjoyed figuring out how things work. I found both the simplicity and complexity of the devices, tools, and technologies that we use in daily life to be fascinating. I always excelled in math and sciences, so the logical choice was between science or engineering when the time came to declare my major in university. Ultimately, I chose engineering because of its hands-on aspects, that allow you to apply what you’ve learned to create better processes and technologies.
The best part of my job is being able to work with a variety of very experienced engineers, listening to their stories and picking their brains for valuable knowledge and inspiration. I learn something new every day and that keeps every day interesting and exciting.
If you like STEM/Engineering, go for it! Regardless of what others say about gender norms or being outnumbered by males in the industry, at the end of the day, if you show up and speak up, you are already making a difference by being part of the change.