As a female engineer myself, I’ve learned that it’s important to become empowered instead of feeling alone in the world of engineering. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned.
#1 It’s Okay If You Don’t Blend In Perfectly
Dear ladies, stop trying to blend in perfectly! Sometimes what makes you different, makes you stand out in a positive way. You can use this to your advantage, and it’s okay to leverage the fact that you are not like your peers.
#2 Men and Women are Different
Men and women are different, and that can be a good thing. We think differently, look differently, and act differently, and that’s okay. Differences can make teams stronger. As a young engineer in a team with a lot of men in a manufacturing company, I came to realize that we all had different perceptions on a topic. In addition to that, sometimes the men would get too aggressive on a certain plan, and the women would “neutralize” the aggression by giving a “lighter” point of view. Together, we made the perfect plan.
#3 Set Clear Boundaries
Sometimes to fit in, we try to be “one of the boys”, and men find it alright. But men can be really rowdy sometimes, they throw in jokes and tease you ‘till your head explodes—whether or not you’re in the mood. So, we have to set boundaries. For example, if you’re not comfortable with dirty jokes, tell them. If the way they act towards you is a bit too awkward for you, tell them. Most of the time, men need to be told in front of their faces to get the message. Hopefully, they’ll understand.
#4 Don’t Take Things Too Personally
I’ve said earlier that men can tease a lot and most of the time, they don’t really mean it. Men like to provoke each other and since you’re part of the team, they think you’d understand them. So, don’t take things too personally, just shrug it off and go on with your day. If it does go overboard, you can refer to number 3.
#5 Women are your allies
They should be! Therefore, we’ve got to stick together. I mean, who else can understand our pains, mood swings, problems and endless stories better than our girlfriends! Also, Finding fellow female engineers in the workplace made me feel that I wasn’t alone.