- 6 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
It’s nice to see some female engineers here! I’m a computer engineer, I just graduated and I’m about to start a job doing IT consulting. It’s mostly men, I think there are 3 or 4 women that I know of in the office I’m going to be working at, but maybe they’ve hired more since then. I don’t have experience working in a “real” office yet, but I had classes and a summer internship and they were almost exclusively male.
In class, the guys never really knew what to expect from me. I’m 5′ tall, very slender, and young and most of the time, I made better grades than they did. After a while, some of the guys started coming to me for help. I did have to prove myself, but once I did, they had a lot of respect for me. Thankfully, pretty much everybody I’ve come across has at least been willing to give me a chance, and all of my professors have been very fair to me.
In my internship, the professor in charge never questioned my ability to do whatever he wanted me to. He was impressed with me before I started working with him due to a class I had with him. Actually, he offered me the internship before he offered it to anybody else because of that, and he told me that if I hadn’t graduated in May, he would have wanted me to work with him again this summer!
I was given a lighter workload than the two guys, but that had nothing to do with my gender. It was because I was an undergrad and they were both working on their PhDs and had been working on the project for several years. I was the new kid and also had quite a bit less education than the guys did, so it made sense that I was in charge of less.
The two other students, as with my classmates, didn’t really know what to expect from me at first. However, once they saw the kind of work I did, they pretty quickly accepted me as a part of the team and treated me with a lot of kindness and respect.
As far as the totem pole goes, I’ve been on the bottom with both my job and my internship, but that’s simply because I’ve always been the new person, so it makes sense. But I feel like I’ll be given some good opportunities at my job, so hopefully I won’t stay at the bottom for too long.