Edith Clarke, the inventor of the Clarke calculator that greatly simplified the calculations needed to understand long electrical transmission lines; Mary Anderson, the brains behind the windscreen wiper that we still see in all motor vehicles up to this day; Ada Lovelace, the world’s first ever computer programmer dating back to 1842, and the list goes on.
These are just some of the greatest innovators in history that have pushed the boundaries of engineering, and they’re all women. They, along with many other trailblazing icons, paved the way for a lot of women across the globe who dream of pursuing a career in an industry that’s otherwise perceived by many as male-dominated such as engineering.
Women in Engineering
In the United States, back when engineering was just starting to gain popularity, it was uncommon for women to have a career in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) STEM fields. Many of them worry about gender stereotypes and discrimination that they may face in the workplace.
But as the world changes and the call for gender equality becomes stronger, the industry has begun to become more inclusive and encouraging toward women wanting to join the field.
According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a lot of educational institutions and universities in the country are putting a lot of effort to encourage female students to enter the STEM fields. These efforts herald a world where women can freely choose a profession and land a job based on what they love, what they’re passionate about, and what they can bring to the table instead of basing it solely on gender.
These efforts prove to be effective as more and more women have been starting a career in engineering in all corners of the world. In fact, there are so many women in the industry today that a society for women engineers has been established.
Society of Women Engineers
Since its founding in the 1950s in the United States, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has always been a huge advocate for women representation in the engineering industry. It has been giving female innovators a voice and place in the industry for over 70 years.
One of its primary goals is to promote women empowerment to help them reach their full potential and show the world the benefits of inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. From a little over 50 members when it started, the international non-profit organization now has over 40,000 members all over the world. Together, they envision a world with gender equality in technology and engineering.
Every year, the Society of Women Engineers awards women in graduate and undergraduate STEM programs multiple scholarships. They also offer a mobile course that will provide a more comprehensive explanation of their mission, vision, and goals and give a rundown of SWE’s member benefits and programs.
Its members are guided by these five core values as stated in their official website:
- Integrity. They aspire to the highest level of ethical behavior as evidenced by honesty and dignity within their personal and professional relationships and responsibilities.
- Inclusive Environment. They embrace diversity in its broadest interpretation and commit to creating an inclusive environment for all their members and stakeholders. They value diverse members’ contributions, enabling SWE to achieve its full potential.
- Mutual Support. They provide an organization that fosters mentoring and the development of professional and personal networks.
- Professional Excellence. They professionally conduct our activities, demonstrating and demanding the highest standards of business practices.
- Trust. They share a common definition of success with open, transparent access to information, building mutual respect and confidence in the abilities of those with whom they lead, serve, and partner.
The creation of this organization is a testament to how the work of female engineers have impacted the way the modern world operates today. Their contributions are so valuable to the industry, so much so that a special day has been dedicated to celebrate them every year.
International Women in Engineering Day
On June 23, 2022, the world will celebrate the incredible achievements that the brightest and bravest women engineers are making to help build a brighter future for everyone across the globe. International Women in Engineering Day is a global awareness campaign that aims to raise the banner of women in the field and give attention to the available career opportunities for women in the industry.
Despite the engineering field being dominated by men, International Women in Engineering Day serves as a reminder that it is actually far from it. In fact, female engineers are leaving huge marks and making the world feel their presence across the industry.
The annual event is all about the amazing girls working against all odds to achieve their goals and showing the world what they have to offer. Their accomplishments have made it easier for us to live our everyday lives with improved homes and transportation.
Why You As A Woman Should Pursue A Career In Engineering
While for decades, STEM fields have been run predominantly by men, the number of women in the industry has been growing considerably due to the significant progress made toward gender equality.
In 2021, the US Census Bureau reported approximately 13.2 million female staff in the STEM fields. By the end of last year, 56 percent of all workers in the United States is made up of women, and 32 percent of which works in the science and technology fields. These statistics show a reality in which job openings for women in STEM fields comprised mostly of men in the past are increasing, and women representation in the engineering industry are improving.
With the growing demand for engineers and the progress that women in the field are making, now would be a great time to think about leveling up your career.
One of the things that you can do to advance in the field and stand out from the sea of engineering hopefuls across the country is continuing your education to a master of engineering degree or even a doctorate. This will help you gain additional valuable skills and specialized knowledge that will arm you as you take on bigger roles in the STEM fields.
These advanced degrees in engineering also show potential employers that you possess in-depth knowledge and experience. It also demonstrates that you’re prepared to go the extra mile to succeed in your chosen profession and take leadership positions.
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Agile WPS’s specialized recruiters will be guiding you all throughout the journey to ensure a smooth application process. Join the Ediths, Marys, and Adas of the world and add your name to the list of trailblazing women in the engineering industry and STEM fields today. Contact Agile WPS now!