Why We Need Women in Engineering

Category: Engineering

Written By: Nicole McBride

Date: February 21, 2019

Why We Need Women in Engineering cover image

Engineering is a field thought to be primarily for male professionals who enjoy math and science. However, it is important to encourage women in the engineering community and young girls with an interest in STEM since women bring their own unique ideas and perspectives to the field. 

“Women want to take care of others and make the world a nicer place,” Parkhill Civil Engineer Rene Hawklee, PE, said. “They may not realize engineering is a great way to tap into those feminine instincts.” 

Parkhill Civil Engineer Sonia Samir, PE, said female students should be encouraged to participate in STEM programs. Exposure to these programs at an early age will encourage them to choose engineering as a prospective career. 

“We need to ensure participation of young female students in STEM programs that will allow them to explore their potential and passion for problem-solving and innovation,” Sonia said. 

Rene said that in her career with Parkhill, her greatest accomplishments are seeing the results of problem-solving and innovative designs at work. 

“I get satisfaction driving around and seeing well-designed, well-graded, well-drained, attractive street and sidewalk systems that I had an influence on,” she said. “Very few people will even recall that an early layout had some issues, which through collaboration with city review staff and design engineers, were resolved for the public’s very long-term benefit. The good design of water and sewer systems is hidden underground, so the public will never know that someone has paid attention to getting the right infrastructure in place. 

“An example of a more obvious accomplishment would be a channel lining project in Midland that corrected some overly steep and high side slopes that were caving in and threatening residences. We executed it with giant concrete modular blocks that, in a pinch, a kid could climb. We waited a long time for the right solution to be available in order to avoid a vertical and more dangerous concrete wall.” 

Sonia said her greatest accomplishment is her family and young daughter. 

“Me and my husband both being civil engineers, we sure hope to influence her to follow our footsteps to choose STEM as a career,” she said. 

For more about women in engineering at Parkhill, read How Do Get More Women Involved in Engineering.