Posted on September 20, 2018
Victaulic’s Women in STEM
Women in STEM are underrepresented in the workforce, and only 28 percent of science and engineering employees are female. At Victaulic, we believe that innovation at its best is driven by diversity of thought. With this in mind, we’re celebrating some of the women in STEM we work with every day.
This month, six women in STEM from Victaulic were featured on the cover of Plant Engineering Magazine. Check out highlights from the article to learn more about each female engineer, and how each of their journeys reflects “Engineering a Change” in manufacturing.
What’s been your greatest thrill or achievement as an engineer? What was your greatest success story?
Recently, I wrote a white paper on corrosion resistance after an experience with a new customer. The customer had been looking to create a new product to join piping systems underground and was concerned that other materials would corrode. To solve this issue, I had to ramp up on industry standards so that I could classify solids to determine if Victaulic’s HDPE product could be used without corroding. This concept was brand new to Victaulic, but because of Victaulic’s determination and resources, we successfully showed the client why our solution would work and was the best option.
Along the path to becoming an engineer, were there more challenges or more barriers? What did you do to overcome them?
Being a woman in engineering can be challenging because it means that I am the minority. Therefore, I stand out. This can be difficult at times, but has also allowed me to work even harder and succeed.
Do you feel like you’ve been offered the same opportunities as male coworkers in your industry? Was there a time where you felt like there was a gender bias? What needs to be done for the industry to be more gender-neutral?
Fortunately, I have never felt like there was a gender bias against me. I have always been offered the same opportunities as my male coworkers at Victaulic. Strong leadership throughout the industry can continue to drive a culture that will allow every engineer, regardless of gender, the same opportunities.
What advice would you give to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering?
Develop a love and curiosity for engineering. You must ask questions, be humble, and be willing to admit you don’t always have the answers. Be willing to grow.
Successful engineers are very motivated, and detail focused. Developing a passion for what you do is crucial not only in engineering, but any career path.
Today, about one in five engineers in the U.S. are women. What should we be doing to improve the ratio?
It is important to instill confidence in young women interested in the field that may be intimidated by these numbers. To improve the ratio of women to men in engineering, we need to start inspiring and empowering young women when they are beginning their higher-educational journeys.
It is important for companies to ensure female employees are treated with the same respect and given the same opportunities that men are. If companies are mindful of this, more females will be motivated to advance their careers as well as inspire younger women to begin their journey in engineering.
Talk a little about the environment at Victaulic for women engineers. What have you seen at your company that has helped your career develop?
Companies are becoming more receptive to prioritizing women for STEM roles. In my career at Victaulic, I have largely benefitted and succeeded because of the collaborative environment we have. I have never felt like the “token female engineer” – my opinions and thoughts are always considered.
Victaulic thanks all of our women in STEM for their contributions across the business, and looks forward to empowering more women to pursue STEM opportunities in manufacturing!