DRMP Engineers Share Insight in Celebration of International Women in Engineering Day
June 23rd, 2020
In honor of International Women in Engineering Day (June 23), we sat down with three of our women engineers to hear their advice for the future generation. Each of these women are at different levels in their careers and have unique perspectives about working in the A/E/C industry. No matter how many years of experience, each woman’s perspective brings value to the table and should be shared with those who are becoming engineers.
Kaylee Thick, Drainage Project Engineer
Years of Experience: Less than 1
What advice would you share with women engineering students about getting started in the A/E/C industry?
Historically, women have had to deal with a lot of challenges going into the engineering industry concerning pay and being treated different because they are women, but I see a shift coming. I think now is a great time for women to get into engineering and STEM industries overall because more of us are entering these fields and we can uplift and push each other. I’d say to girls or even women in college, if you have a passion about getting into the industry, just do it. The longer you work at it, it gets easier and you never know, you could become a trailblazer for a little girl or peer while you’re putting in the work.
Kim Sadowski, PE, Transportation Project Engineer
Years of Experience: 18
What would you say to fellow women engineers who may struggle with work/life balance?
I would tell them to never to give up and that it’s never too late to make changes in your career. I took time off for a while and I worked part time. I was an Engineering Intern (EI) for a very long time. I went back very late and I thought at the time, 13 years ago, that I might not go back into engineering. But I figured out that’s what I’m supposed to do, I like engineering, so I went back and got my Professional Engineer (PE) license. It’s not too late to make a change.
Lisa Moon, PE, North Carolina Traffic Engineering Manager
Years of Experience: 27
What advice would you give to a future woman engineer?
Honestly, I wouldn’t tell the female future engineer anything different than I’d tell a male future engineer. What I’d tell any future engineer is know how to network. I wish I would’ve known to network. Along with skill and experience, a lot of your career will be about relationships and who you know. So, get involved in professional societies; push yourself to do things that may be uncomfortable such as public speaking; meeting new people, or writing a technical paper; learn how to play golf since those events are where you will have opportunities to meet others in the field; and crate and keep in touch with your network.
Also make sure to ask for what you want or need, especially when it comes to collaboration and setting boundaries in the work environment. Speak up. Trust your instincts if they are telling you something looks wrong—don’t just take it at face value; pursue it.
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