The engineering world is dominated with men. When people find out a young girl goes to engineering school, more or less they’ll be surprised to hear it. They’d often get asked, “Isn’t it for men only? Do you think you can handle it? Won’t you get harassed in a male-dominated field?” While it may get frustrating how people can underestimate women as engineers, it is better to prove to everyone (and most especially to yourself) that just because we don’t have deep voices and broad shoulders, doesn’t mean we can succeed as engineers.
But if you’ve just graduated and find yourself quite scared of joining the work force, these tips might just help you become a great engineer at work:
Learn to work comfortably with both genders.
Don’t be that engineer who acts like a guy to be one of the guys. You don’t have to force yourself into doing anything just so you’d get accepted. Be comfortable working with men and women in the industry and treat them as different people who have different opinions on your work. Avoid becoming bias as well. Don’t be a man-hater just because some guys treat you a little differently than you want to be.
Use your specialties as well. Some things women are good at while there are things that you’re not. So focus on what you can do and make sure that you use that to your advantage. A friendly competition with your peers may be good but don’t be too competitive that it ruins your relationships with your colleagues.
Stand by your values.
You’re a woman engineer who has her own opinions and values. Stand by them. Don’t be afraid to speak out in a male-dominated room and let them know that you are an engineer who know the same things that they do. Find your voice and embrace it.
Surround yourself with people who can serve as your mentors.
While you’re still young and have the energy to learn the processes involved in the industry you’re in, take the opportunities to learn from the people you work with. Show these people that you have the same capabilities to learn just like the other guys at work. Show them you’re eager, surprise the, with your intelligence and eventually, these mentors will appreciate you as their “student”.
Being a female engineer can be really challenging but with the right attitude, you’ll find your way to success. It just takes guts and dedication to show the world that gender plays no role at all in making engineering things happen.