The Future Is Female…
While more women are graduating with four-year engineering degrees than ever, they are still underrepresented in the engineering industry and are more likely than men to leave the engineering profession. In fact, although women make up 20% of engineering school graduates, they make up a mere 12% of practicing engineers.
“Increasing the persistence of women in engineering at all stages of their careers is imperative to solving this talent shortage.”
– Society of Women Engineers
At Rev.io, we provide a culture that supports and empowers our team to work hard and enjoy thriving careers. Today, we’re going to give you a behind-the-scenes visit with two of our female engineers, Ginah and Catherine.
Meet Ginah and Catherine – Two of Rev.io’s Female Engineers
What’s your name and job title?
Ginah: “Ginah Colon – Software Engineer”
Catherine: “Catherine Johnson – Software Support Engineer”
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
Ginah: “Georgia Institute of Technology – Electrical Engineering”
Catherine: “Georgia State University – Computer Science”
What first interested you about a career in technology and/or engineering?
Ginah: “As a kid growing up, I was always good at math but I also had a curiosity about how things worked. Anytime a device (like an alarm clock) broke at our house, I would take it apart to try to fix it. This made my parents, and other adults, make the “you’re going to be an engineer” comment, and the more I heard that, the more I considered it.”
Catherine: “Watching my Dad build computers as a kid drew my interest. My sophomore year of college, I took a programming course and after my first day of class, I changed my major to computer science. I’ve been pursuing it ever since.”
What’s the most challenging part about being a female in this industry?
Ginah: “The most challenging part of being a female engineer is the side conversations that happen in class or at work. Not to be too stereotypical, but you are constantly having to participate in “guy” talk, meaning the conversation is about cars, sports, yard work, etc. I know enough about those topics to hold my own, but not having a female counterpart to discuss other topics of interest can be difficult.”
Catherine: “Since I didn’t go to an engineering school, I was usually one of the only females in most of my classes, so I didn’t get to make a lot of female engineer friends. Being out of college now, I have met so many amazing women doing great things in the technology field. It makes any loneliness I experienced in college well worth it.”
What’s the most rewarding part of being a female engineer?
Ginah: “Squashing stereotypes and surpassing expectations. Every time someone is surprised by my profession, my alma mater, or my efficiency and hard work, I’m reminded that I’m helping to pave the way for future female engineers. Hopefully, one day, we won’t be seen as unique or as “female” engineers at all. Instead, we will simply be engineers, experiencing the same challenges and rewards as our male counterparts.”
Catherine: “Definitely being able to show other women that it is possible to be successful in a male-dominated field.”
What advice do you have for females aspiring to become engineers?
Ginah: “I advise future female engineers to do their research, look into what it means to be an engineer. Look up the different types of engineering – there are far more variations than you’d think. Finally, look up the different careers you can pursue with an engineering degree – it’s not just one path of joining an engineering team.”
Catherine: “Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough or smart enough and always stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re the minority.”
To learn more about what’s driving female attrition in the STEM professions and how your organization can better advocate for this group, check out SWE’s recent study. Or, if you’re a female engineer looking for job opportunities at a company recognized as one of Atlanta’s “100 Best Workplaces for Women,” head to our culture page.