Empowering Women Engineers – International Women in Engineering Day
June 23, 2019 was International Women in Engineering Day! This day promotes international awareness to raise the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities to girls in this exciting industry. At Baseline Engineering Corporation, we have three outstanding engineers, who just also happen to be ladies: Sarah Parsley, PE, Sarah Foster, EIT, CFM, and Morgan Anderer, EIT. I polled them for inspiration to others and here’s what they had to say.
Sarah Parsley, PE
- 1. Why did you decide to become an engineer? I graduated with a BS in Statistics in 2002 and became a data analyst. After a short time working as a data analyst, I became dissatisfied in my career and the company I was working for. I found a new position as an engineering assistant working for a small civil engineering firm in Lakewood, Colorado. I built databases, worked with GIS and learned AutoCAD during the next 10 years. I also took night classes at Red Rocks Community College and received a Certificate in Graphical Engineering (AutoCAD). At this time I decided that Civil Engineering was the career path for me and I went back to school and received a BS in Civil Engineering at University of Colorado Denver. My father was a civil and mechanical engineer so the realm of engineering was not foreign to me. I fell right into the work and enjoyed it. My father owned his own engineering firm for most of his career and one day I hope to follow in his footsteps and open my own firm, Parsley Consulting Engineers.
- What challenges have you faced and overcome in the course of your career path? The challenges I faced included initially working in engineering with a degree in statistics and then the path of going back to school as an adult.
- What is your favorite aspect of your career? I love civil engineering because of the ability to create and design and then implement my design through construction. I feel as though, in my own way, I positively contribute to society by ensuring my designs are buildable and adequately designed for the population who use them.
- What words of advice to you have for other women seeking to become engineers? My best advice to other women seeking to become engineers is that it’s okay to be seen and to be seen as a woman. We need more women engineers to not only be in the field but to lead the next generation and show them that women can not only be engineers but they can be at the top of their game regardless of gender. We need women who can speak up in meetings, state their mind in areas of inequality, and to become leaders in the field.
Sarah Foster, EIT, CFM
- 1. Why did you decide to become an engineer? Math and science were always my favorite school subjects growing up. I liked how everything made sense and there was a clear answer and methodology when it came to numbers. Engineering is an extension of those subjects and I enjoy the challenge that it provides.
- What challenges have you faced and overcome in the course of your career path? The biggest challenge has been finding a company and location that lines up with my personal desires as well as professional desires, and being able to ensure a proper work-life balance.
- What is your favorite aspect of your career? My favorite aspect is that I get the opportunity to provide a service to our community through my work. I really enjoy being able to help provide low-cost housing, making a town more bike/pedestrian friendly, or ensure that human development and the natural world are able to coexist in a sustainable manner.
- What words of advice to you have for other women seeking to become engineers? Go for it! You are strong and your ideas matter. Don’t let anyone put you down, always believe in yourself, and stand behind your ideas. Be confident and find a reliable and encouraging group of friends/coworkers/etc. You can do it!
Morgan Anderer, EIT
- 1. Why did you decide to become an engineer? I decided to pursue engineering because I knew I could use my skills to help others. I was always intrigued by the Discovery Channel shows that highlighted big engineering projects around the world.
- What challenges have you faced and overcome in the course of your career path? Engineering can be a very demanding field, so you have to learn to establish boundaries early on in your career. I personally learned that if you value work-life balance you should search for a company that truly echoes this philosophy.
- What is your favorite aspect of your career? My favorite aspect of my career is the ability to see the infrastructure I designed being built.
- What words of advice to you have for other women seeking to become engineers? Go for it! Remember that it’s still a male dominated field but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your passion. We need more females in the engineering world.