Women in Engineering: A One Year Retrospective
About a year ago Alesia T., Associate Mechanical Engineer at Brindley Engineering wrote an article about Being a Woman in a Male Dominated Industry.
We’ve had many questions and comments on her article, so we recently caught up with Alesia to check in and find out how life is at Brindley Engineering these days.
Q: What kind of reactions did you get to your article on Women in Engineering?
A: I am really proud to say that I got a lot of comments and support from both my colleagues and friends. One of my colleagues sent the article to his daughters – it made me very proud to be relatable. My friends were proud of me too.
My supervisor told me that because of that article, he is much more conscious about female work environment. This year, he sent an email to me on International Women’s Engineering Day – that was very thoughtful.
Q: How many female engineers worked at your company last year? How about now?
A: Last year, I was the only female engineer on the project I was assigned to. In 2021 we hired 2 additional female engineers for the project, and now have a total of 4 female engineers on-site. That is totally different from when I started. In the whole company we have 20 female employees, including 11 engineers across many disciplines. That’s what I call progress!
Q: When you walk into a room is it still 99% men and 1% you?
A: Unfortunately, most of the time it still is. However, now that I have fellow female engineers who are on the same projects as I am, we are able to make a presence together as Brindley engineers. Also, when others walk into our trailer, female Brindley Engineers make up a much larger share of our team!
Q: What are you most excited about for 2021-2022?
A: I am excited for the great growth we are experiencing but especially to work with all the new female engineers. It’s a better environment for everyone when there are more women. My career has progressed so much over the past year, I am now an Associate Mechanical Engineer and manage one of our on-site teams. It’s no longer me in a room full of men figuring out how to assert my opinion or being hesitant to speak up. It’s me managing a site and a team. I’m responsible for more than ever before. So, what am I excited about?… The work! I am so excited to be in a turnaround. It’s a different world. I get to be in the trenches like never before. The work is amazing and challenging and rewarding all at the same time.
Q: What advice would you give to prospective Brindley Engineering new hires?
A: We are super honest about interviews. We are a medium sized company and don’t have all the formalized processes that much larger companies do but everyone is involved in creating those as need arises. It’s all about your attitude. If you are up for the challenge, great! If not, it’s not the best fit for you.
We are a huge family here. We work hard and we get to celebrate together. We have a strong connection. When we work on a project it’s not one person – it’s a team. We solve every project together.
Q: Any advice specifically for female engineers?
A: When I wrote the article, I wanted to help visualize that being a “diverse” and “female” engineer is simply being an engineer and the same opportunities and respect should be given to every engineer no matter where one comes from, how one looks or how one speaks. When I was given a chance, opportunities and trust came. Everyone is respectful and there is so much opportunity to succeed here at Brindley Engineering. Our culture and atmosphere are better than others. There is a sense of calm and respect. Brindley Engineering makes diversity a priority in every sense – it’s part of the company culture and it’s one of the things that makes this place special.