I lined up nervously outside of my first engineering lecture in 2010, having no idea what to expect.
I didn’t know any engineers personally, let alone any women who had entered into this profession to ask for advice. Being an engineer has definitely not been all smooth sailing, but it has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done.
So here is some advice for other young women looking to study or start their career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths, commonly referred to as STEM industries, to hopefully make your transition a little easier.
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1. Expect to be challenged.
While the industry is changing day by day for the better, I can guarantee that there will still be days that are challenging as a female in any STEM profession.
I sincerely hope that you don’t experience misogynism, chauvinism and narcissism while studying or during your career, but I bet my bottom dollar that you will. Some of this bias is subconscious, but it might surprise you just how much conscious bias still exists.
Things will be said, actions will be downright unfair, and you may find yourself having a solid cry in a toilet cubicle (more often than you would like to admit)… but just know that you are not alone.