• Sarah Kaminski
  • Female Engineer – A Career You Should Definitely Consider
Female Engineer – A Career You Should Definitely Consider
Written by
Sarah Kaminski
November 2019
Written by
Sarah Kaminski
November 2019

If your upbringing and schooling was anything like mine, you may have been told you can be anything you’d like. An astronaut, a lawyer, even the President!

Contrasting that to how women were raised not so long ago (and are still being raised, everywhere around the world, including your own backyard), we have come a very long way. No more ‘your place is in the kitchen,’ ‘why should you go to school,’ ‘university is for your brother,’ or ‘what do you mean you want to be an accountant?’. Well, at least not as much.

Yet I find there are still careers that raise a fair few eyebrows, and might not seem the ‘natural’ choice for a woman.

One of them is certainly engineering. Let’s explore why you, a woman, should consider pursuing a career in this line of work.

You like numbers and puzzles

If you have always been good with numbers, and don’t find the prospect of spending an entire lifetime figuring out puzzles and problems where numbers play a big role, engineering could be the perfect career path for you.

Many people still tend to believe boys are better at math than girls, yet there is no specific proof to back up this belief. Yes, some boys are better at it than some girls, but that is true of anything.

If you’re a girl who enjoys working with numbers and find it natural and rewarding, finding an applicable way to use your talent can lead straight to an engineering career.

The puzzle element comes with the problem-solving aspects of the job. It might seem a bit daunting at first, or it might take you a long time to figure something out, but once you do, it will feel incredibly uplifting.

It is a very well paid job

Engineers (civil or otherwise) are among the best-paid professionals in the world. If your paycheck plays a significant role in your choice of career (and there is nothing inherently wrong if it does), this might be an excellent option.

Women are still extremely underrepresented in the field, accounting for only around 12% of total engineers both in the UK and the US. However, employers are no longer favoring only men. As women are great at multitasking and, let’s face it, we’re no longer considered the weaker sex by everyone, getting into the industry has become a lot easier.

You should start by getting EIT certified, which is one of the requirements needed to prove that you are a professional and can do the job safely. It’s not the only one, but it’s a good starting point.

You are a woman

Admittedly, women think and feel differently than men. In terms of engineering, this can be an excellent advantage.

Men often get sidetracked by their egos and competitiveness, which, in a world where deadlines and safety are major players, can turn into a hindrance and a distraction.

Women, on the other hand, are better at handling the ego, and can focus on the prize without bothering to look at the distractions – or at least not letting them get in the way. We’re also great at ‘feeling’ a situation and can spot a detail that has been laid out incorrectly.

Add to that the multitasking ability, and that we often don’t need to resort to shouting to make ourselves heard, and you can grasp why women in engineering are a valued asset.

It’s a challenge

Finally, don’t let the fact that it’s not an easy career choice and that a lot of responsibility will rest on your shoulder discourage you.

Yes, there will be those who will doubt your abilities and think less of your capabilities just because you’re a woman. That can happen in any line of work, and sexists will be sexists no matter what industry you find yourself in.

We have fought long and hard to find ourselves in this position: being able to choose to do whatever it is we want, and having the opportunity to fight for whatever path in life we choose for ourselves.

Yes, you will be a woman in a man’s world, but there are as many advantages to that as there are disadvantages. If you choose to see opportunities rather than obstacles, your path should be a challenging, but highly satisfying one.

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