Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is an annual event that celebrates women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) careers, while inspiring young girls everywhere to pursue an education in the field. This year we’ve asked one of our Project Managers, Valerie Wollet, P.E., about her experience in the field.

Q1: Why do you think it is important for women to become engineers?

Engineering is a very fulfilling career. Every day I get to work as part of a diverse team and creatively solve problems. We work on projects that will impact the public for a long time. The engineering field has a high earning potential. Having a career that allows you to be financially independent is empowering.

Q2: Have you seen more women entering the engineering field since you began your career? If so, why do you think that is the case?

Yes! Growing up, a lot of girls have no idea that engineering is a career that exists. When I was in high school and told other girls that I wanted to go to college to study engineering, many did not know what that was. The push for STEM activities beginning at a young age gives children a wider variety of options.

Q3: What have you learned from being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field?

I think there is a misconception that working in a man’s world is intimidating and that the men do not want women around. This has not been my experience. Most people have women in their lives (daughters, mothers, sisters, wives) that they love and respect and treat the women in the workplace the way they would want their loved ones treated. The men I work with realize that I am capable of doing my job and treat me like any other person.

Q4: What can a company do to support “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” day and encourage young women to become curious about the engineering field?

Employees can get involved in the community so that girls can see what being an engineer means. Participating in school career days, helping local scout troops earn STEM related badges, and sponsoring a career shadowing program are just a few ideas.

Check out last year’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering video below!