Jeff Stephenson, P.E., is the Team Leader of [...]
At Sain, we recently hosted our Second Annual Introduce a Girl To Engineering Day, also known as Girl Day. Last year, we spoke to girls from the Hewitt-Trussville High School Engineering Academy, and it was a huge success. With women making up 47 percent of the total U.S. workforce, and just 12 percent being civil engineers, we knew it was a country-wide initiative we wanted to be a part of again.
This year during Girl Day, six of our female employees spent part of the day educating a group of girls from Pelham High School on the engineering profession and challenging the perceptions these girls may already have on the career. Studies have shown that many young girls don’t have a strong understanding of what it means to be an engineer and think they can’t do the job if they aren’t exceptional at math and science. During our time with them, we worked to show them that in order to do well in this career, you just need a sense of curiosity, creativity, team building and also a passion for helping others.
With many of these girls soon to venture off to college, it was not only important for us to do hands-on, team building activities, but to share some of our personal, college life experiences of becoming an engineer. We wanted to help prepare them by providing words of wisdom that they could really use once they get out on their own.
Apart from the journey of becoming an engineer, we gave them first-hand accounts of what it’s like to be a woman in a predominately male field. We taught them how there’s no stereotypical engineer and even talked with them about how to dress. In the field of engineering, our job responsibilities vary greatly and require a wide range of attire. We wanted them to learn that no matter what, we always want to portray ourselves as professional women.
One of our main missions during Girl Day was to reshape their thoughts about engineering and show them that they do have what it takes to excel in the field. They have an advantage over past generations because there’s so much more encouragement to pursue whatever field matches their talents, without gender bias.
This initiative was designed to extend that encouragement with practical advice from some our talented female staff members who make for some amazing role models in the engineering profession.
To see more photos from the event, check out our Facebook album.