Friday, June 9, 2017

FIRST Robotics Women in STEM Reception, Part II of IV

Continuing the questions and answers from the engineering panel

Dano, Schwamb, Heller and Smith

4. How many female engineers are in your office or classes?

I am currently the only female engineer in my office; however, my company employs many, many female engineers throughout the world.  In my college classes I had a pretty equal distribution of men and women.
Jessica Steffan Dano, engineer

There are eight female engineers in my class of around 40, four mechanical engineers and four electrical/computer engineers.
Addison Schwamb, OCU

There are three female engineers (and three female scientists) out of about 80 employees. Not very many!
Caroline Heller, engineer

In my intro classes like Calculus and Physics, the ratio of women to men is about one female to every four males. In the classes I am in now within the Industrial Engineering department, there are a lot more women than there were my freshman year. I would say the ratio now is about 1 female to every 3 males, if that.         
                                                                                                                      Abby Smith, OU

SWE-OKC Section President Leslie Crissup 
visits with attendees

5. Did you 
ever face discrimination or discouragement for being a female engineer?

Discrimination, in my experience, is rarely blatant.  Unfortunately, I do feel that it happens and I have experienced some in my career.  I have had a couple bosses who I felt didn’t see me as an equal to male counterparts; however, I have also had some amazing bosses and mentors who supported me and invested in my future.  In my opinion, it is important to say something if you experience something that affects you.  Further, it is important to find mentors (especially female mentors) who will support you and guide you through any situation you experience.  Finally, it is important that women stick together and support one another because we are laying the foundation for the women of the future!  
Jessica Steffan Dano, engineer

I have never faced discrimination. All my professors and classmates are super supportive. However, I have faced discouragement many times, simply for being an engineer. This semester was extremely difficult and stressful because I took more classes than I should have, and multiple times I've been extremely stressed out. However, my friends were always there for me and told me that what I was doing was hard and it was okay to be stressed out. Now, at the end of the semester, I still love my major.
                                                                                                         Addison Schwamb, OCU

I felt out of place in my power and machinery class in college. and the guys definitely reminded me that it was not my strength. However, it was mostly poking fun at a city girl pursuing an agricultural major.                                                           
                                                                                                         Caroline Heller, engineer

I have never once felt belittled or had discrimination for pursuing a degree in engineering. All of my professors and colleagues have been respectful of me and the fellow women engineers.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                     Abby Smith, OU

Michelle from OG&E with her mentees

Mentor with the Waco, Texas, Devastators

Tinker Air Force Base's Jackie Pearson, IT systems
engineer, with OKC 4-H Robotics Ninja Munkees


So many opportunities for girls and even teachers
in the detail from the program

Thanks to Adrianne Covington Graham and the 
Oklahoma Engineering Foundation 
for co-sponsoring this annual event.

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