Breaking the glass ceiling: Encouraging women to explore engineering careers

women in engineering

by Lucia Pía Torres

Modern society – and its ability to manage technological changes, while also combining classic thought with modernity and coexistence with advancement – leaves no alternative but to build on a foundation of gender, social and culture diversity. In a globalized world, every profession or occupation is interconnected with technology; it is clear that we need more engineers, scientists and technologists. In order to achieve our goals and develop these professions, we need to be more inclusive and strongly involve women. That is our challenge.

While society has progressed from the days when a woman like Marie Curie, an innovator in her field, was considered exceptional, there is still a long way to go in the engineering profession. I believe that we still need more female role models to inspire new generations to follow a technical professional path; it remains difficult to publicly identify successful female engineers or scientists.

Merit, rather than gender

For modern women, technical and complementary training, including leadership skills, management and teamwork, are becoming more attractive areas. The possibility of growing and developing within the profession is a very valuable asset. Often it is perceived that there is an unbreakable glass ceiling, and that the positions of middle and upper management are almost inaccessible for women. These jobs must be based on merit, technical abilities and leadership skills, not dependent on gender.

The word engineer has its origin in the Latin word ingenium, which refers to machines or artifacts as well as an innate and natural disposition to invent, create and design. So, any person with the vocation to innovative, create, design or shape a vision to solve common and everyday problems, can be an engineer.

Women are able to perform any task regardless of the traditional stereotypes and stigmas; it is up to us, as a current society, to eliminate them. If we train, accompany and encourage women, who want to continue to increase their knowledge and enhance their skills, promoting and recognizing their development, we will be able to fulfill our main objective: a diverse, balanced and equitable world, sustainable for the next generation.

About the author: Lucia Pía Torres is Program Manager for engineering at SINERGEIA-ESCO, specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energies. She has experience in project management, production, operation and maintenance in various industries and international companies. This article is excerpted from a worldcement.com blog post and is reprinted with permission.

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