Women in Engineering series to kick off tonight

June 21, 2018

Tomorrow marks the first in the series of Women in Engineering social engagements. Inspired by the book Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists by Ellen Daniell, these two-hour dinner events feature a variety of speakers with the purpose of bringing women in engineering together to share in their experiences and learn to navigate their careers. Taking a break for the week of July 4th, the series resumes on July 12th with events on July 26th and August 9th to follow.

The topics for these talks were selected by Dr. Jacqueline McNeal and Mary Andrade and will be hosted and presented by regional employers.

For event coordinator Ellie Kohler of the Engineering Career Development Office, these meetings are what she hopes to be the first of many more to come. “We know it can be potentially isolating, being the only woman in the office. This is a motivating and supporting program for those women in engineering.”

Topics range from how to further your career to securing respect from your peers. Over dinner, participants are offered an opportunity to build comradery and kinship, not only through sharing their difficult experiences, but in learning how to overcome and build on them.

Kohler, who works with students on co-op, sees those difficulties manifesting in a number of different ways, from various forms of harassment, to feelings of under-appreciation. Building on her own experience, she works with students, women in co-ops, to help overcome their obstacles entering into the workforce. She believes that by sharing their stories, they can enrich their community. 

“You’ve got to understand what they’re going to, and trying to find someone to be a support system. Where do you want it to go? What is the outcome you want from it?” says Kohler. “Sometimes they don’t want to go back. And we try to work through that. Usually, about 95% they do go back. They have the conversations, it works out. It’s awesome.”

Each event begins at 6pm or 6:30pm. You can find a full list of event below and RSVP via Symplicity.

07/12/18Altec IndustriesRespecting Instinct & Personal Goals
07/26/18LG&E-KUAppreciating Ourselves & Being Entitled to Success
08/09/18GE Appliances, a Haier CompanyTaking Care of Ourselves